Well last week went pretty well for the Pats and it was a pretty easy first game. This week they face a much tougher opponent being the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers are a veteran team that led the league in both offensive yards per game and defensive yards per game against last year. It was their special teams and injuries that really hurt them throughout the season leaving them with a 9-7 record. The Chargers are going to be a very tough challenge for the Pats, but I think they can overcome it.
The Patriots (Tom Brady) had a stellar passing attack last week against the Dolphins throwing for over 500 yards. Brady is clearly hot and it will be difficult to slow him down. Now I am not saying he’s going to throw for another 500 yards, but he’s still going to be throwing the ball like crazy. The Chargers have a defense that can stop both the pass and the run; so the Patriots are really going to have to mix it up. Chad Ochocinco could be overlooked this week by the Chargers defense and could be a big weapon for Brady and the Pats. Danny Woodhead should see a lot of passes out of the backfield. Both young TEs will see lots of targets with all the mismatches they force for the defense. I think Welker will have an average game and be held in check throughout. Green-Ellis will see more carries this week, however still may not see more than 15. As long as Brady can spread the ball out, like he usually does, he will keep the defense on their toes enough to find some key openings.
As for the Pats defense, they had a pretty poor performance last week in my opinion and are due for a bounce back week. Phillip Rivers is one of the premier QBs in this league and it takes a lot for him to be rattled. If the Pats are going to have a bounce back week they will have to pressure him often. Rivers is excellent at getting rid of the ball quickly so even with a blitz every now and then Rivers will be prepared. The Pats defense will need to mix up their defensive looks; fake some blitzes, drop linebackers into coverage, blitz from the outside, etc. I think their d-line is strong enough to keep the running game limited, however their pass defense scares me. Rivers has a lot of options to throw to and like Brady will utilize them all.
This is a big game for the Pats and the only way they are going to win is if they stop Rivers’ lethal passing attack. Their defense is beatable and their offense isn’t unstoppable, but Rivers is a smart QB and seems to always make the right decision. The Patriots offense will thrive as always, but their defense is what is going to be key in this game. This will definitely be a close matchup, but I do think the Patriots will edge it out winning 24-21 in the last minutes. Go Pats!
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Written by David Reid