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NFL Divisional Round - Chargers vs Patriots

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21 hours ago, DingoLadd said:

Exactly why they'll screw it up, I want to hope for the best but I know this team. We will screw ourselves somehow, someway.

On the bright side, we seem to play better when we're the underdogs.

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On 08/01/2019 at 12:31 AM, Xenos said:

Keys to beating the Patriots?

 

Stretch our slow linebackers with crossing routes, or forcing them to cover running backs out the backfield

Establish the run, because we don't have a good front 7

We struggle covering TEs as Chung has lost a step

Score first.

Our secondary is good actually, I'm not too worried there, but anything with running backs is scary as hell for us.

Apparently weather will be 24-30 sorta range, but downgraded snow. Just cold.

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Here are some discussion threads for you guys, as an outsider I am interested to hear your thoughts, especially ones related to Rivers 

 

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Andy Benoit's breakdown:

https://www.si.com/nfl/2019/01/10/nfl-playoffs-chargers-patriots-preview-analysis-upset

Quote

ON DEFENSE…
The surprising seven-defensive back package that Los Angeles presented last Sunday at Baltimore may seem like a viable tactic against a Patriots team that likes to spread out and throw to receivers inside. Having seven DBs leaves safeties Jahleel Addae and Adrian Phillips at the inside linebacker positions, where they’re “less overmatched” against Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan than a linebacker would be.

But just one problem: Some of those Patriots spread-empty formations come out of traditional two-back personnel, with fullback James Develin on the field. Employ all safeties and no linebackers and the Patriots will put Develin in an I-formation and pound you with interior runs. Develin is an excellent lead-blocker on these. In fact, this was New England’s primary offensive approach for much of December.


The Chargers are in a tough spot; they went to seven DBSs in the first place because they’re without top linebacker Jatavis Brown, who in Week 17 suffered a season-ending ankle injury. Alternate linebackers Hayes Pullard and Kyle Emanuel are decent thumpers, but either would be a liability in coverage. And so if the Chargers this week go with seven defensive backs, it’ll be more out of necessity than choice, and it won’t be as successful as it was last week. The Patriots have much more of a smashmouth ground game than the smoke-and-mirror Ravens.

Let’s also remember Tom Brady, though not as dominant this year as last year, is still a superstar QB. Typically, you wouldn’t mind an offense with a superstar QB trying to beat you on the ground. But the Patriots, when you consider their defense and special teams, are so good at managing game situations, playing field position and minimizing mistakes. You can legitimately fear losing to them in a slugfest game that’s not as close as the low final score suggests. In fact, that’s what happened last season when the Chargers visited Foxborough in Week 8, losing 21-13. 

And so L.A.’s best bet is to play Pullard or Emanuel (or even both), force the Patriots to make plays both on the ground and through the air, and trust that stars like Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Casey Hayward and Derwin James (the Rob Gronkowski matchup) give them enough talent to out-perform this still-dangerous, but-maybe-a-little-less-threatening-than-usual Patriots offense.

ON OFFENSE…
Philip Rivers, and especially his pass protectors, struggled for much of the first half last week with Baltimore’s hallmark amoeba fronts and disguised blitzes. The Patriots are often regarded as a similarly highly-schemed, disguise-oriented defense, but that’s really not the case. If you can account for linebackers Dont’a Hightower and especially Kyle Van Noy, you’ll solve New England’s pressure packages. Rivers should feel comfortable with every page of L.A.’s passing game playbook this Sunday.


Usually, the Patriots eschew blitzing and keep seven, or even eight, defenders back in coverage. They prefer man-to-man and have 2018’s best cover corner, Stephon Gilmore, who figures to travel with route running ace Keenan Allen. That leaves undrafted rookie corner J.C. Jackson on either big downfield targets Mike Williams or Tyrell Williams (likely whichever one aligns furthest outside). That would seem to be the mismatch Rivers most desires, except Jackson plays much, much bigger than his 6'1”, 200-pound frame suggests, and he earned his starting role thanks to his downfield coverage prowess.

And so Rivers will send the ball to wherever the safeties dictate. Will New England’s doubling safety help Gilmore on Allen, or will he help Jackson on one of the Williams men? And will that doubler even be a safety? Usually the doubler is Devin McCourty, but Bill Belichick may want McCourty’s athleticism on scatback Austin Ekeler, whom Rivers leans on heavily in the checkdown game.


The good news for Rivers is he’ll have time to sort out these reads, as New England’s pass rush, assuming Trey Flowers is contained, won’t be a problem. The bad news is Rivers must be almost flawless since the QB opposite him this week is not a wide-eyed rookie, but rather, a five-time Super Bowl champion. 

Chance of an upset: 40 percent. The Chargers are better and the Patriots are worse than when they met last October, but since when does a talent deficiency hinder New England in January?

 

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Been crazy busy moving to chicago and starting a new job and all that this week, but I can give a few tidbits as to what I've seen.

This is the first time in a LONG time I've seen a team that's motivated, and while Anthony Lynn may have caught a lot of **** for not having a ton of coaching experience, the guy has built a culture like no other here. He is the perfect balance of motivator and controlling, but defers to his coaching staff who are more knowledgeable, and that's how you win in the playoffs.  You don't put too much on your plate and focus on the big picture as a coach.

This is a crazy matchup.  Chargers are undefeated outside of LA, and the Pats are undefeated at home. This is kind of the classic new kids on the block that want to take over for the old guys who have ran the league matchup.  This team has the right attitude to come in here and take it to the Pats.

IMO, this is a VERY bad matchup for the Pats in terms of the Pats O vs our D.  They key to rattling Brady is to get pressure not only frmo 4 men rushing, but make sure that the pressure is coming from all over (It's really important to get inside pressure on Brady IMO).  The way we move guys around (particularly Ingram) to rush from inside and out is going to be a huge challenge for Brady. We have the pieces to match up with Gronk (Derwin is one of the few guys who are not only athletic, but the underrated part of this is that he's long enough to play with him (33" arms for a S is freakish, that's DE length right there....).  King/Edelman matchup is going to be really fun to watch.  What it's going to come down to is how the LB/S's play.  Getting Mebane back is going to be absolutely huge, as it takes Square off the field more, who isn't a great fit for NT, but I love giving him spot snaps as he just brings SO much energy. Phillips will play a huge part in this game if he's asked to play the Will.  If he can play as physical as he did last week, then this game is going to go very well. 

On offense, I think the key for the Chargers is going to be ball control.  IMO it's a pretty simple formula, we're going to need to kill them on the ground, and get a few deep shots in. Ekeler, once again, is going to be HUGE, as he may be up there with the best pass protecting backs in the league (which is probably his most underrated trait).  The scheme vs Phil is going to be really good, we know that from Beilchick.  But Rivers needs to keep doing exactly what he's done in the past few weeks. We need conservative Phil.  He's almost turned into a game manager the last few weeks, and that's exactly what I want to see from him. I think a ~200yd, 1 TD, 0 Turnover performance wins this game for us if this D plays like it should. The key to our passing game is how Henry, Ekeler/Gordon, and the Williams' (and Benjamin....really whoever is in the slot) fare.  We're going to need to attack the LB/S's and the CB depth from the Pats. I don't think the game plan is going to be about throwing deep or getting KA a big game, as the last 2 people you want to test on this D are Gilmore/McCourty deep. 

Edited by Duffman57

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Wow SI called Jatavis Brown a top linebacker? Couldn’t be more wrong there. He’s a decent backup linebacker but nowhere near what you want in a starter. Subpar versus the run, bad angles and for a “coverage” linebacker he gets burned too much. He’s essentially played like a homeless guys Ben Leber. 

 

We stopped the Ravens exotic running game last week and I think we will be able to stop the Patriots this week. I’m worried about the short routes though and our tackling in the secondary.  Jaleel Addae is a liability. He doesn’t cover short or deep routes effectively and even this late in his career he still displays an aversion to wrapping up when he goes for the tackle. He thinks he is playing in peewee league and the big hit is going to be enough. I like both the James/Gronk and King/Edelman matchups but leave it to Brady to make a hero out of the other guys. Please Chargers give me 7 more days of hope. 

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Good luck guys. Hope you guys win, Rivers deserves a ring. Hope you guys stay healthy. No matter what happens, congrats on an excellent season.

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On 1/11/2019 at 11:02 AM, Boltstrikes said:

Wow SI called Jatavis Brown a top linebacker? Couldn’t be more wrong there. He’s a decent backup linebacker but nowhere near what you want in a starter. Subpar versus the run, bad angles and for a “coverage” linebacker he gets burned too much. He’s essentially played like a homeless guys Ben Leber. 

 

We stopped the Ravens exotic running game last week and I think we will be able to stop the Patriots this week. I’m worried about the short routes though and our tackling in the secondary.  Jaleel Addae is a liability. He doesn’t cover short or deep routes effectively and even this late in his career he still displays an aversion to wrapping up when he goes for the tackle. He thinks he is playing in peewee league and the big hit is going to be enough. I like both the James/Gronk and King/Edelman matchups but leave it to Brady to make a hero out of the other guys. Please Chargers give me 7 more days of hope. 

I disagree. I think he's fine as a starter at the Will position. Don't ask him to main the other LB positions though. His main problem is the same as Perryman's. Can't stay healthy. In fact, that seems to be the problem with all our good linebackers. White, Brown, and Perryman are all on IR. And the ones that do stay healthy like Kyle Emmanuel are so painfully below average.

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On 1/11/2019 at 8:51 AM, Duffman57 said:

Been crazy busy moving to chicago and starting a new job and all that this week, but I can give a few tidbits as to what I've seen.

This is the first time in a LONG time I've seen a team that's motivated, and while Anthony Lynn may have caught a lot of **** for not having a ton of coaching experience, the guy has built a culture like no other here. He is the perfect balance of motivator and controlling, but defers to his coaching staff who are more knowledgeable, and that's how you win in the playoffs.  You don't put too much on your plate and focus on the big picture as a coach.

This is a crazy matchup.  Chargers are undefeated outside of LA, and the Pats are undefeated at home. This is kind of the classic new kids on the block that want to take over for the old guys who have ran the league matchup.  This team has the right attitude to come in here and take it to the Pats.

IMO, this is a VERY bad matchup for the Pats in terms of the Pats O vs our D.  They key to rattling Brady is to get pressure not only frmo 4 men rushing, but make sure that the pressure is coming from all over (It's really important to get inside pressure on Brady IMO).  The way we move guys around (particularly Ingram) to rush from inside and out is going to be a huge challenge for Brady. We have the pieces to match up with Gronk (Derwin is one of the few guys who are not only athletic, but the underrated part of this is that he's long enough to play with him (33" arms for a S is freakish, that's DE length right there....).  King/Edelman matchup is going to be really fun to watch.  What it's going to come down to is how the LB/S's play.  Getting Mebane back is going to be absolutely huge, as it takes Square off the field more, who isn't a great fit for NT, but I love giving him spot snaps as he just brings SO much energy. Phillips will play a huge part in this game if he's asked to play the Will.  If he can play as physical as he did last week, then this game is going to go very well. 

On offense, I think the key for the Chargers is going to be ball control.  IMO it's a pretty simple formula, we're going to need to kill them on the ground, and get a few deep shots in. Ekeler, once again, is going to be HUGE, as he may be up there with the best pass protecting backs in the league (which is probably his most underrated trait).  The scheme vs Phil is going to be really good, we know that from Beilchick.  But Rivers needs to keep doing exactly what he's done in the past few weeks. We need conservative Phil.  He's almost turned into a game manager the last few weeks, and that's exactly what I want to see from him. I think a ~200yd, 1 TD, 0 Turnover performance wins this game for us if this D plays like it should. The key to our passing game is how Henry, Ekeler/Gordon, and the Williams' (and Benjamin....really whoever is in the slot) fare.  We're going to need to attack the LB/S's and the CB depth from the Pats. I don't think the game plan is going to be about throwing deep or getting KA a big game, as the last 2 people you want to test on this D are Gilmore/McCourty deep. 

Great breakdown Duff. Given the weather, I don't think we should be throwing it deep as much as we have in the past. I would like more of the quick striking attack that we used so successfully in the past with Phil. Of course, that all depends on having a decent running attack at least.

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10 hours ago, Xenos said:

Great breakdown Duff. Given the weather, I don't think we should be throwing it deep as much as we have in the past. I would like more of the quick striking attack that we used so successfully in the past with Phil. Of course, that all depends on having a decent running attack at least.

Eh, realistically, especially when you're moving as much as these guys are, 30 degrees isn't crazy (thats what the gametime temp looks like right now), especially when it's supposed to be very sunny.  But the important part is that there shouldn't be much wind (5mph winds according to accuweather) so throwing the ball shouldn't be too bad. I don't think it will affect the occasional deep shot we take. But regardless, as I said, I think we really need Rivers to play conservative.

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Looks like Hunter Henry is active... can't wait to see how they decided to use him. Even if its just in the red zone, he will help.

 

Also... are we ready to give up on Lamp? I mean the dude has been a healthy scratch most of the year.

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