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DoleINGout

GameDay Thread: Patriots vs. Chargers

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New England Patriots vs. LA Chargers

Gillette Stadium

NFL Divisional Round

January 13, 2019

1:05 P.M. est

 

 

Coming into this matchup, the Patriots have placed an emphesis on physical running as opposed to their usual finesse passing game. The Chargers come well balanced and impressive on the road with wins this season at Kansas City, at Seattle, at Denver, at Cleveland, in London against the Titans who crushed the Patriots, and at Baltimore last week in the playoffs. Oh, and the Chargers won at Pittsburgh too.

Sure, the Chargers have had to forge a few comebacks in order to pull off these road victories, but they're healthier now than they were all of 2018. Hunter Henry will be an option at tight end potentially as he is practicing with the team after recovery from an ACL tear. All Pro defensive end Joey Bosa has been gianing momentum since returning midway through the season, and Melvin Gordon also figures to be available against the Patriots after healing from various knee ailments.

The Patriots are coming off a bye week where fans expect any lingering issues that players have dealt with are mended by rest. The week off hopefully benefits injury riddled players like Rob Gronkowski and aging veterans like Tom Brady so that we are able to see them at peak performance for this tough matchup.

Home record for the Patriots is certainly noteworthy as teams coming to Foxborough haven't fared well historically. Putting that aside, the Patriots enter Sunday with one underrated statistical advantage on defense. No other team in the league has created more pressure against the opposing offense on third down than New England; 44.9% of third downs the Pats were been able to generate pressure with their pass rush. Against a pocket passer like Philip Rivers, the odds are that trend will continue for the Patriots. Defensively, a key matchup to watch will be Stephon Gilmore and the secondary versus Keenan Allen and a diverse Bolts receiving corps.

San Diego. . .  err, I mean, Los Angeles will want to keep the pass rush unsteady and exhausted with a varied assortment of quick passes and effective run game. If the Bolts are unable to find success on the road with their ground game, then they're expected to struggle on third down through the air. If Melvin Gordon's sprained knee limits his effectiveness, one x-factor to be aware of is rookie Justin Jackson. This game looks like it will be very competitive and whichever team advances will have to play the winner of the Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts game. Good luck!

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Key here is to have run success early. That or the patented quick tosses for 4-5 yards that leave Brady's hand in 1 second flat. Then getting ahead early and controlling TOP. Rivers will get his. Brady will get his. Which running game is more impressive? That and the TO battle will determine the outcome. 

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Two weeks to prepare, playing at home, chance of snow...these things favour the Patriots. But it definitely won't be easy. Chargers are probably the best team they've played all year, no glaring weaknesses I can see except being banged up at MLB.

My record for predictions this year has been fairly pitiful, so I'll forgo the bother. Anything could happen. Pats could kick *** or get beaten into the ground like a tent-peg. Brady could rip them apart or play like he's never seen a football before. Pats are hard enough to read at the best of times, but you thow a Rivers lead Chargers team into the mix - an organisation capable of supreme highs and comical lows - and who the hell even knows anymore.

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This could go either way. If we control the time of possession we should win. Sony will be key.

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1 hour ago, Deadpulse said:

Key here is to have run success early. That or the patented quick tosses for 4-5 yards that leave Brady's hand in 1 second flat. Then getting ahead early and controlling TOP. Rivers will get his. Brady will get his. Which running game is more impressive? That and the TO battle will determine the outcome. 

How quickly do you think the Chargers will try to get the passes out of Rivers hand Sunday compared to the Patriots?

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Posted (edited)

HAVE to run the ball successfully. Such a glaring key.

We have a good secondary to match up with their high-cut receiving unit, but their ground game is going to give us fits. It will be apocalypse on here as Ekeler and Gordon reel off 8 yards per run/catch 

I think Rivers is good for a wobbly throw or two, and we have to capitalise on any chances offered (if any). 

Us by 3

Edited by Hunter2_1

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37 minutes ago, DoleINGout said:

How quickly do you think the Chargers will try to get the passes out of Rivers hand Sunday compared to the Patriots?

They like taking their deep shots

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So you think they're just going to be vertical for the most part @Deadpulse and not try to throw quickly on third down in particular?

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1 minute ago, DoleINGout said:

So you think they're just going to be vertical for the most part @Deadpulse and not try to throw quickly on third down in particular?

I think they will focus on the run game and use PA to go deep or otherwise use the seams

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22 hours ago, Deadpulse said:

I think they will focus on the run game and use PA to go deep or otherwise use the seams

I'm expecting a lot of Ekeler out the backfield or at LOS wide

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I want Tom to spread the ball around to keep the chargers on their toes. Hopefully we can get Sony moving early. Also hopefully no injuries.

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The secondary is the most underrated unit in the league and I believe they show it on Sunday. 

Gilmore is the best corner in the game right now and he’s still being underrated

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I think we see some play action off fly sweeps to Patterson with Edelman sitting down in the seam against Cover 3. It'll be interesting to see if the Chargers continue with the 7-DB look, and if so, how the Patriots solve it (my guess would be a healthy dose of play action).

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