With Sunday’s match-up between the Chargers & Patriots rapidly approaching, I thought I would share some quick points to think about for the upcoming game.
- This will be a tough task for this young Patriots squad. Traveling from coast-to-coast is not the easiest task in the NFL and for many of these rookies this is their first true west coast game.
- While the Chargers are going into week 7 with a 2-4 record on the year, they have been exceptional at home. Blowing out both the Jaguars and Cardinals with a combined score of 79-23. While these may not be the strongest teams in the league, the Chargers are coming off an embarrassing loss to the St. Louis Rams last week – and are likelyÂ looking for a little revenge.
- I think this could be an important win for the Patriots. In the last year and a half the only real road victory was a few weeks ago against the Miami Dolphins on Monday night. Another win on the road could start to establish confidence in these young players as they continue to make strides.
- The Patriots could not catch the Chargers at a better point in the season. The Chargers have a several key injuries. Nate Kaeding (K) is out, Legadu Naanee and Malcom Floyd (WRs) are both doubtful, and Antonio Gates (TE) is a game-time decision with a toe injury. In the Norv Turner era in San Diego, 0 out of 24 players have suited up when listed as doubtful.
- One aspect of this Chargers team that worries me is their passing game. Through six games, Phillip Rivers has already thrown for over 2,000 yards. Combine that with New Englandâ€™s 29th ranked pass defense in the league and that is an area San Diego will likely try and exploit.
- This could be Jermaine Cunninghamâ€™s break out game. The Chargers have had protection problems all year and he could be looking at a big day along with the rest of the defense. The Rams sacked Rivers seven times alone last week. After missing the pre-season with a lower leg injury, Cunningham has slowly progressed through the season. Look for him to make an impact.
With all of these thoughts taken into consideration. I believe the Patriots can win this game. While I donâ€™t believe it will be a blow out on either side, I see the Patriots pulling it out by a close margin on the road: Patriots â€“ 31, Chargers – 27.
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