The Los Angeles Chargers will travel to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts to take on the Patriots. This divisional round matchup will kick off at 1:05 PM. ET.
The Patriots finished the season as the two seed, but they’ll face the team with the second-best record in the AFC, the Chargers. New England is trying to reach the AFC Championship game for the 8th straight season. The Patriots will come into this game after a much-needed bye week. The Patriot’s offense has shown little this season to inspire confidence. Tom Brady, despite posting strong statistics, wasn’t as “Brady like” through most of 2019. For one thing, the Patriots offense never looked in sync. Facing a Charger’s pass rush that ranks 19th in sacks, expect Brady and the offense to have the time they need to connect in the passing game.
The Chargers have the second-best record in the AFC, and if not for Kansas City, the Chargers would have had the number one seed. Unfortunately for the Chargers, they were unable to leapfrog the Chiefs and fell to the five seed. After beating the Ravens in the Wild Card round, the Chargers will now have to face the Patriots on the road in New England. At home in the playoffs, the Patriots under Tom Brady have been nearly unbeatable. Phillip Rivers in his career has never played well against the Patriots. This isn’t the Patriots of old, though. The Chargers are one of the best teams in the NFL this season, while the Patriots have struggled with consistency all season. While the Patriots always play well at home, expect the Chargers to give New England all it can handle.
The Chargers’ offense will challenge the Patriots’ defense.
The Charger’s offense struggled in their victory over the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have one of the best defenses in the NFL this season and used their defensive prowess to shut down Philip Rivers and the passing attack. Fortunately for the Chargers, their defense was up to the challenge and led Los Angeles to a victory.
The Chargers pass rush got after Jackson for seven sacks and ten quarterback hits. That type of defensive pressure is exactly what the Chargers need if they’re going to upset Brady and the Patriots. The Charger’ defense will need to play with the same intensity as they did in the Wild Card round. The last thing the Chargers want is a repeat of last weeks poor offensive performance. While the passing attack struggled last week, the Charger’s rushing attack played even worse. Despite getting into the end zone, the Charger’s rushing attack averaged a putrid 2.7 yards per attempt. Facing a Patriots’ run defense that allowed the 11th fewest rushing yards per game, expect the Chargers’ rushing attack to improve upon last week.
The Chargers aren’t an inexperienced team led by some spring chicken. Philip Rivers has been around the block a few times and has taken his punches from the Patriots in the past. This version of the Patriots, however, looks beatable. Sure, all the same pieces are there: Brady. Belichick. Gronk. This list of familiar players goes on and on. There are some new faces, but they’re not big-time playmakers. That’s New England’s problem: The X-factor. What’s New England’s’ X-Factor? Josh Gordon before he left the team was an X-Factor. Sony Michel could be that guy, but we haven’t seen it from him yet. He still needs to prove it.
The Patriots got to this point playing mistake-free football. On the season, the Patriots have the second fewest penalties in the league. That discipline has allowed a less talented Patriots squad to beat some super talented teams, like the Chiefs, this season. The 2019 Patriots aren’t an all-time great team, they’re not even close. Can a decent Patriots’ team dominate in the playoffs? That remains to be seen. Regardless, the Patriots’ offense needs someone to make a difference on offense. That person is usually Edelman or Gronkowski, but anyone will do.
NFL 2019 Patriots Vs Charges Betting Lines
I want to pick the Chargers here. They’re a great team. Melvin Gordon is a great running back. Keenan Allen is a great receiver. The Patriots defense will have their hands full in the secondary. But this is the playoffs—these are the Patriots. They might not have the best cast they’ve ever had, but they’re still very well coached. Expect the Patriots offense to explode to an early lead. If the Patriots can work Chris Hogan more into the offense and create big gains on offense, then expect New England to advance to their 8th straight AFC Championship.
Play: Patriots -4.5 @ BetOnline.ag