The Patriots are coming off a big win and are playing the San Diego Chargers this week. The Pats are looking to improve their record to 4-1 while putting the Chargers in a deep hole hopefully sending them to a 2-5 record. This game will not necessarily rely on how well the Patriots play, but more on how poorly the Chargers will play. The Chargers are facing a ton of problems going into this week. Both sides of the ball will be missing key players and even with those players, the Chargers have really been a disappointment. This week the team was missing both WR Malcom Floyd and TE Antonio Gates at practice due to injuries. On top of that, RB Ryan Mathews is still having a bit of an issue with his ankle. All players are listed as Probable for this game, but may not play as many series’ as they like and may also look a little sluggish on the field. Two LBs including the young Larry English are also nursing injuries that may cost them some playing time this week.
If the Patriots want to win this game, they need to take advantage of these injuries; really pressure these guys and force them to make plays while not being fully healthy. Some things the Patriots do have going for them this week:
1. Their defense has been looking very tough especially the run defense.
2. The return of Deion Branch has somewhat energized this offense and helped everyone forget the loss of Randy Moss.
3. All viable playmakers are stepping up and have been making immediate impacts.
4. Tom Brady has been playing more like Tom Brady these past 2 games.
With this in mind, the Patriots really just need to do what they have been doing and ride this momentum train. They have been playing extremely well lately and if they play like they have been the past 2 games, they should have no problem getting past these problematic Chargers. I like the Patriots in this one and I think the Chargers will beat themselves up pretty bad like they do every week. I see the Pats winning 31-14.
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Written by David Reid