Chargers Vs. Patriots Preview
Philip Rivers. Tom Brady. Julian Edelman. Keenan Allen. James White. Melvin Gordon. Those are some of the names that highlight this week’s blockbuster showdown between the L.A. Chargers and the New England Patriots.
Rivers and Brady met in 2008 in the AFC Championship game. This time, they meet in the Divisional round with a trip to the AFC Title game at stake.
Both teams started slow this season at 1-2. But a week 4 win for both teams got their season’s back on track. The Patriots are NFL royalty. We expect them to be here in the Playoffs every year behind Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Meanwhile, the Chargers have a history of being snake bitten. However, this year at 12-4 they’re making some noise in the AFC. Philip Rivers and Anthony Lynn are playing for what could be their best shot at a Super Bowl.
For the Chargers, they need to get the offense going early and often. They overcame a tough defense last week against the Baltimore Ravens and put them away. The Patriots’ defense is good, but no where near the athletic ability of the Birds from Baltimore. Look for them to lean on the running game with Melvin Gordon. He should be able to get the ground game going. If they can get it going by pounding the rock, then they can get play action to work and once they have that they’ll be hard to stop. Meanwhile, on defense, they need to do what they did last week and fly to the football and make their tackles.
Joey Bosa will look to put Brady on the ground often. The secondary has also done a solid job this year and should be able to make life difficult for the receivers.
For the Patriots, they need to play their best football of the season. They’ve had their struggles, but have come on in the back half of the season and looked liked their dominate selves. They’ve looked sluggish at times, but it’s January, it’s playoff football, it’s time for the Patriots to step up. This Chargers’ team is on a mission, they’re coming in with a lot of momentum. Tom Brady will look to find the holes in the defense with Julian Edelman and having James White at his disposal. Defensively, they need to put constant pressure on Rivers and force him to make some bad passes and create some turnovers.
A trip to Kansas City is on the line when these two teams duke it out tomorrow. Should be a good one in Foxborough.
(Written by Seth Cohen, a Tailgate writer who also runs @tailgatenflnews on Instagram.)