AFC Divisional Buildup: Chargers vs. Pats

SeoulSoxFan

Dope
Dope
Jun 27, 2006
18,685
Compared to last year's game, not having Jordan Richards play any meaningful snaps must be worth a point in the spread.
 

ObstructedView

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
1,153
Maine
Last year was last year but in Foxboro (misty 62 degree day), the Pats beat the Chargers 21-13.

Brady: 32-47, 333 yds, 1 td, 0 int
Rivers: 17-30, 212 yds, 1 td, 1 int

Gordon: 87 yard TD run, 132 yards rushing total
Allen: 4 rec, 61 yds
Williams: 1 rec, 7 yds
Bosa: 4 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit
Ingram: 2 tackles, 1 QB hit
Burkhead: 7 rec, 68 yds
White: 5 rec, 85 yds

The Pats killed the Chargers with passes to the RBs. Gordon had the one huge run but otherwise was kept in check. Ghost had a big game with 4 FG.

Teams are a little different this year obviously, but I'd expect NE to try to pound the Chargers if they come out with 7 DBs. But if they come out conventionally, torture their LBs with passes to the RBs. They have done a good job on Bosa in the past - let's keep it that way.

Should be a tough, hard-fought game, but I expect the Patriots to win.
Weird game - Pats moved the ball well overall but only scored one TD and got a safety when Travis Benjamin inexplicably ran into his own end zone after muffing a punt.
 
Last edited:

bigq

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
2,604
This is going to be a fascinating matchup. The Chargers come to Foxboro having not lost on the road all season while the Patriots have not lost at home. By weighted DVOA, the Chargers are the #6 rated team(#2 offense, #19 defense, and #17 ST) and the Patriots are #8(#5 offense, #16 offense, #16 ST).

When Patriots have the ball
--I think we will see a run-heavy offense this week as the Pats have shown recently, but more of a power running game than the zone runs they tend to run. For the season, the Chargers rank 26th in the league in yards per carry against power plays(5.71) vs. 11th in the league vs. zone runs(3.71). Since Joey Bosa has been back, it's been even worse as they've given up 6.67 YPC against power runs. This is a team where the Patriots can take advantage of their success running the football as of late.

--Attack the Chargers LB's in the passing game with the RBs. The Chargers rank 23rd in DVOA against opposing RBs giving up almost 60 yards per game to that position group. Last year against the Chargers, Brady targeted the RBs 16 times. White had 5/85 and Burkhead had 7/68 to lead the team in receiving. The short passing game with the RB's hopefully will counter the Chargers' pass rush and get the ball out of Brady's hands quickly.

--I would not count on Rob Gronkowski having much of an impact in the passing game this week. The Chargers are the #1 team in the league in defensive DVOA vs TE's. If Gronk is going to have any success, it will have to come on play action seam throws where Derwin James gets sucked up the field.

--If the running game is a success early, I'm hoping to see Josh McDaniels bring in heavier formations and run tempo with them to keep the Chargers on the field with their base look. Don't be afraid to pass out of the heavy formations with chunk plays down the field. This is a good opportunity to line up in a 2 back set with an extra lineman and run screens to the strong side of the field and also sneak White or Burkhead out on wheel routes. The middle of the field will tend to be open with success with the run so play action routes to Edelman should be open. Interesting fact today: the Chargers used 7 DBs in 58 of 59 snaps. If that happens Sunday, run, run, run. They have to respect the passing game of the Pats as opposed to today.

--I would also like to see Patterson lined up in the backfield for a few plays and swing it out to him. If they can't handle RB's in the passing game, CP would be a load to deal with.

When Chargers have the ball
--I'm not sure how healthy Melvin Gordon is at this point. He had to leave the game today and did come back, but he's been dealing with a knee problem for a while. I don't think he's 100%. My concerns are with stopping their passing game.

--Phillip Rivers has a tendency to make mistakes when he's had to make quick decisions. My hope is that the Patriots deploy the "Amoeba" defense on passing downs, play man to man outside, and make Rivers guess where the rush is coming from and which guys will drop to the middle. Chances are he will throw a couple to the defense and the defense better capitalize where the Ravens couldn't today.

--Blitz Rivers a ton and turn the game into winning 1-on-1 battles against their receivers. I'm confident that Stephon Gilmore will win the vast majority of his. With the way JC Jackson and JMac have been playing, I'm confident in them too. It will force Rivers to check down to his TEs and RBs, so it is imperative that the LB's and safeties tackle in space.

Special Teams
--DO NOT KICK IT TO DESMOND KING. Kick everything out of the end zone or squib kick. I don't care. Just don't give King a chance to affect the game. The kick coverage has been terrible all year so don't give the best KR in the game anything.
Outstanding post. This is the matchup I wanted to see. Pumped for this game. This week can’t go by fast enough.
 

Red Averages

owes you $50
SoSH Member
Apr 20, 2003
5,125
Obviously the team agrees that it’s easier or better to go home and fly back.
But you don’t think, somewhere between MA and KC, there isn’t a place with multiple practice fields, ballroom space, hotels, meeting rooms, etc?
Like, almost any large-ish university has that.
There are probably literally hundreds of places they could go. And it wouldn’t need to be in MA or in KC. Anywhere in between would do.
It might be all the logistics, or it might be that they feel it’s just better to have their players sleep in their own homes, or something else. But I don’t think it’s ‘theres just no place we could possibly do it’.
Or, for an extra 2 hours of flying, which is nothing at all, you can return home to your family for a week, eat your own meals, sleep in your own bed, etc.

People overrate this travel element. The team likely got home last night they then have 4-5 days of practice before a 6 hour flight back. It's not that bad.
 

Red Averages

owes you $50
SoSH Member
Apr 20, 2003
5,125
--I think we will see a run-heavy offense this week as the Pats have shown recently, but more of a power running game than the zone runs they tend to run. For the season, the Chargers rank 26th in the league in yards per carry against power plays(5.71) vs. 11th in the league vs. zone runs(3.71). Since Joey Bosa has been back, it's been even worse as they've given up 6.67 YPC against power runs. This is a team where the Patriots can take advantage of their success running the football as of late.

--Attack the Chargers LB's in the passing game with the RBs. The Chargers rank 23rd in DVOA against opposing RBs giving up almost 60 yards per game to that position group. Last year against the Chargers, Brady targeted the RBs 16 times. White had 5/85 and Burkhead had 7/68 to lead the team in receiving. The short passing game with the RB's hopefully will counter the Chargers' pass rush and get the ball out of Brady's hands quickly.
Great post, thank you for taking the time to research. One question - how is power running game defined? Just curious how that changes the sample size.

Based on your note, it seems like the Pats would likely try to come out with a Develin lineup, which they have been using with success lately anyway. I'm expecting more of a blocking role for Gronk this week, with the talent of the Chargers pass rush, but also if they adept the power run game.

Without Gordon at 100% the Chargers offense really changes. They struggled to move the ball for most of the game. Yes, Baltimore has (had!) a great defense this season, but we'll see if Rivers can capitalize or gets flustered when he needs to make big plays on 3rd.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
5,255
The Chargers really have had some very impressive road wins this season.

38-14 over Cleveland (I know!) - Held the Browns to 317 total yards.
25-17 over Seattle - Excellent win over a really solid playoff team that typically is very tough at home.
33-30 over Pittsburgh - At a time when the Steelers really needed wins.
29-28 over Kansas City - When KC looked nearly unbeatable at home.
23-9 over Denver - never an easy place to play.
23-17 over Baltimore - In the playoffs, for the most part had total control of the game.

In these six high-quality road wins:

- Average score: 28.5 to 19.2.
- Average yardage: 353.5 to 317.
 

NortheasternPJ

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 16, 2004
12,975
--Blitz Rivers a ton and turn the game into winning 1-on-1 battles against their receivers. I'm confident that Stephon Gilmore will win the vast majority of his. With the way JC Jackson and JMac have been playing, I'm confident in them too. It will force Rivers to check down to his TEs and RBs, so it is imperative that the LB's and safeties tackle in space.
Great post. This is really one of the big things that's going to swing the game. If Gilmore can lockdown Allen and free up the rest of the D to be creative it'll make a world of difference. If Gilmore has one of those games where he sucks, it's going to be a very long day.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
5,255
I feel more comfortable than I have in a long time with the Patriots' secondary. Gilmore on Allen, Jackson on their #2 (probably Mike Williams when he's out there) - Jackson isn't nearly as tall (this may be a game where we wish we still had Rowe), but he's physical, Jason McCourty on their #3, with Chung on Gates. The worry, as usual, is the opposing RBs. The Pats still don't have the LB speed to cover opposing RBs, so I expect Rivers to target Gordon and Ekeler out of the backfield a lot.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
11,916
Mansfield MA
I feel more comfortable than I have in a long time with the Patriots' secondary. Gilmore on Allen, Jackson on their #2 (probably Mike Williams when he's out there) - Jackson isn't nearly as tall (this may be a game where we wish we still had Rowe), but he's physical, Jason McCourty on their #3, with Chung on Gates. The worry, as usual, is the opposing RBs. The Pats still don't have the LB speed to cover opposing RBs, so I expect Rivers to target Gordon and Ekeler out of the backfield a lot.
One consideration is that Allen lines up in the slot a lot (about half his snaps). So it might make more sense to leave Gilmore / Jackson on the outside (either matchups or just play sides) and double Allen when he's in the slot, rather than have Gilmore follow him all around.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
38,246
deep inside Guido territory
Obviously the team agrees that it’s easier or better to go home and fly back.
But you don’t think, somewhere between MA and KC, there isn’t a place with multiple practice fields, ballroom space, hotels, meeting rooms, etc?
Like, almost any large-ish university has that.
There are probably literally hundreds of places they could go. And it wouldn’t need to be in MA or in KC. Anywhere in between would do.
It might be all the logistics, or it might be that they feel it’s just better to have their players sleep in their own homes, or something else. But I don’t think it’s ‘theres just no place we could possibly do it’.


Guess I should have read one more post.
Of course there is a number of places they could go. But, they obviously think going back home and having a normal game week at home gives them a better chance to win the game then staying out east. I tend to agree with them.
 

Jed Zeppelin

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 23, 2008
34,809
One consideration is that Allen lines up in the slot a lot (about half his snaps). So it might make more sense to leave Gilmore / Jackson on the outside (either matchups or just play sides) and double Allen when he's in the slot, rather than have Gilmore follow him all around.
As long as they don't pull a Keith Butler and have one of the linebackers covering him.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
38,246
deep inside Guido territory
Great post, thank you for taking the time to research. One question - how is power running game defined? Just curious how that changes the sample size.

Based on your note, it seems like the Pats would likely try to come out with a Develin lineup, which they have been using with success lately anyway. I'm expecting more of a blocking role for Gronk this week, with the talent of the Chargers pass rush, but also if they adept the power run game.

Without Gordon at 100% the Chargers offense really changes. They struggled to move the ball for most of the game. Yes, Baltimore has (had!) a great defense this season, but we'll see if Rivers can capitalize or gets flustered when he needs to make big plays on 3rd.
The blocking scheme defines it. Zone runs are behind zone blocking scheme where OL block who is in their area and the back has more freedom to pick a hole depending on what's open. More often not the RB is going to a side and cutting back inside. It's more of a finesse running scheme in my eyes. The most common zone run call is the old stretch play. "Power running" are traditional calls such as power, counter, etc. where the blocking schemes are more pre-determined and the runner is running hard towards a specific hole.
 

dcmissle

Deflatigator
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 4, 2005
27,341
Great post. This is really one of the big things that's going to swing the game. If Gilmore can lockdown Allen and free up the rest of the D to be creative it'll make a world of difference. If Gilmore has one of those games where he sucks, it's going to be a very long day.
I find it impossible not to like and respect Philip Rivers a ton.

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/01/06/philip-rivers-exciting-to-get-another-chance-to-face-patriots/

If he is going to beat me, I’m going down with guns blazing. If they don’t force the action with him with pressure, he will pick them apart. He’s not going to rattle and he’s not going to be confused.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
31,084
I find it impossible not to like and respect Philip Rivers a ton.

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2019/01/06/philip-rivers-exciting-to-get-another-chance-to-face-patriots/

If he is going to beat me, I’m going down with guns blazing. If they don’t force the action with him with pressure, he will pick them apart. He’s not going to rattle and he’s not going to be confused.
I tend to agree. Rivers isn't going to run so you can be aggressive in dialing up the pressure. You have to trust that Gilmore is going to do his job. If he doesn't, we're likely screwed anyways. Get on Rivers before he can unleash the deep ball to his secondary guys like the Williams' and Benjamin. There will be some "up for grabs" balls in the secondary. Must come down with one or two of them. Defense generally plays pretty well at home so I'm more concerned about the offense. Chargers match up really well with us. Really sucks not having Gordon in this one.
 

simplyeric

aggressively nonsensical
SoSH Member
Feb 14, 2006
12,147
NYC
Or, for an extra 2 hours of flying, which is nothing at all, you can return home to your family for a week, eat your own meals, sleep in your own bed, etc.

People overrate this travel element. The team likely got home last night they then have 4-5 days of practice before a 6 hour flight back. It's not that bad.
Of course there is a number of places they could go. But, they obviously think going back home and having a normal game week at home gives them a better chance to win the game then staying out east. I tend to agree with them.
Right...that was exactly my point:

"it might be that they feel it’s just better to have their players sleep in their own homes, or something else. But I don’t think it’s ‘theres just no place we could possibly do it’."

I was addressing the idea that they had to go home, and would have otherwise stayed east if only they could have found a place to practice, meet, and sleep.

They're barely on an east-coast schedule by Sunday anyway. Get back home, get some good nights of sleep, everything familiar...
 

j44thor

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
8,926
Interesting comment during the game vs. Ravens from Eric Weddle who said that Rivers first read is Allen and second read is typically to the back in the flat and we saw Rivers exploiting Ravens blitz by throwing over the rusher to Ekler and lesser extent Gordon during the game, esp when Weddle went out with injury.

I think this week you need to focus on Allen and the RBs and if the Williamses/Gates beat you 1-1 tip your cap.
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
2,711
around the way
We won't likely get enough pressure on Rivers to make him screw up a lot. Good news is that our secondary is pretty solid. But IMO this game comes down to whether our OL can protect Brady enough to outscore them. If LAC can get to Brady routinely with four guys, the game will be over early.
 

Mooch

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,292
Here's one stat that jumps off the page at me: The Chargers rank 31st in the league in DVOA against deep passes (defined as 16 or more yards in the air). I know that conventional wisdom is ball-control, running game, short dump offs to RBs but I think this secondary is not very stout in coverage and can be beaten with speed. I'd use a lot of Patterson and Dorsett and take some deep shots early.
 

Red Averages

owes you $50
SoSH Member
Apr 20, 2003
5,125
Here's one stat that jumps off the page at me: The Chargers rank 31st in the league in DVOA against deep passes (defined as 16 or more yards in the air). I know that conventional wisdom is ball-control, running game, short dump offs to RBs but I think this secondary is not very stout in coverage and can be beaten with speed. I'd use a lot of Patterson and Dorsett and take some deep shots early.
Of course this might be easier if they can establish the run and then do some play action.
 

dcmissle

Deflatigator
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 4, 2005
27,341
Here's one stat that jumps off the page at me: The Chargers rank 31st in the league in DVOA against deep passes (defined as 16 or more yards in the air). I know that conventional wisdom is ball-control, running game, short dump offs to RBs but I think this secondary is not very stout in coverage and can be beaten with speed. I'd use a lot of Patterson and Dorsett and take some deep shots early.
As Jimbodaddy notes, this assumes time to allow those routes to develop.

One scary thing about yesterday is how quickly the Chargers got to Lamar Jackson.
 

dcmissle

Deflatigator
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 4, 2005
27,341
Ravens made a major mistake yesterday not going play action on first down. Everyone was in the box for LAC. He had tight end tools to work with, and should have rolled to escape pressure when they brought pressure.

Instead, they continued to run on 1st, and he sat in the middle of the pocket when pressure came.

Edit. Ravens also should have spread them out with multiple receivers and let Jackson try to find running lanes. You have to cover to those guys. On several occasions, Ravens had one WR on the field.
 
Last edited:

Saints Rest

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
We won't likely get enough pressure on Rivers to make him screw up a lot. Good news is that our secondary is pretty solid. But IMO this game comes down to whether our OL can protect Brady enough to outscore them. If LAC can get to Brady routinely with four guys, the game will be over early.
Flip side: If the OL gives Brady time, TB12 will dissect that secondary.

I think there are a number of key matchups in this one, on both sides of the ball:
  • Bosa vs OL, specifically both OT's. This works both ways: when Pats throw, it's advantage to Bosa, but when they run, it's advantage Pats.
  • Allen vs Gilmore
  • White vs Charger LBs
  • Gordon vs Pats LBs
  • Ghost vs. King. For God's sake, kick it out of the end zone!
 

dcmissle

Deflatigator
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 4, 2005
27,341
The last is a DeathofBambino point. If Belichick gets cute on the kickoffs, I fucking give up. 10 yards of field position is one play against the Chargers. It is not worth it.
 

j44thor

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
8,926
I'm more concerned with Melvin Ingram than Bosa. Ingram was everywhere yesterday disrupting the run and pass. His spin move was especially effective getting inside against the BAL bigger OL. Hopefully this is a game where Thuney's size actually works to his advantage and he can neutralize Ingram with technique since sheer power tends not to work.
 

j44thor

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
8,926
The last is a DeathofBambino point. If Belichick gets cute on the kickoffs, I fucking give up. 10 yards of field position is one play against the Chargers. It is not worth it.
If it is 20s or colder out at kickoff that could have a huge impact on the kicking game and it simply might not be possible for Ghost to kick it out of the endzone.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
38,246
deep inside Guido territory
Here's one stat that jumps off the page at me: The Chargers rank 31st in the league in DVOA against deep passes (defined as 16 or more yards in the air). I know that conventional wisdom is ball-control, running game, short dump offs to RBs but I think this secondary is not very stout in coverage and can be beaten with speed. I'd use a lot of Patterson and Dorsett and take some deep shots early.
Desmond King is a 1st team All-Pro, but the other members of the secondary can be beat. I think they will take some deep shots, but will be based off of their play action out of a heavier formation. It allows the OL to have a bit of help against that good LA pass rush while in likelihood taking a defensive back off of the field for LA.
 

Myt1

the FRESH maker
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 13, 2006
27,383
South Boston
I have little of substance to add, but I want someone to sack Rivers and then do Shawne Merriman’s “Lights Out,” dance.

I think it’s important to have a sense of the history of the game.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

Homeland Security
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2005
17,629
Portsmouth, NH
Or, for an extra 2 hours of flying, which is nothing at all, you can return home to your family for a week, eat your own meals, sleep in your own bed, etc.

People overrate this travel element. The team likely got home last night they then have 4-5 days of practice before a 6 hour flight back. It's not that bad.
Extra 2 hours? So it’s a 4 hour flight from Baltimore to Boston?

It’s not the flight it’s the jet lag. They’ll basically have kick off at 10 am. Again I’m sure they can get whatever they want for meals covered for less than the round trip fuel.
 

DrewDawg

Dorito Dink
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
34,057
We won't likely get enough pressure on Rivers to make him screw up a lot. Good news is that our secondary is pretty solid.
Actually, we don't get a lot of sacks but I thought advanced numbers showed the Patriots do generate a lot of pressure on opposing QBs. Trying to find it now...

EDIT: Found one that was not end of season numbers, but Pats were just outside the top 10 in pressure rate. And ahead of the Chargers.
 

dynomite

Member
SoSH Member
Edit. Ravens also should have spread them out with multiple receivers and let Jackson try to find running lanes. You have to cover to those guys. On several occasions, Ravens had one WR on the field.
In fact, we saw that in the game on Sunday — once the Ravens started opening up and throwing they had a lot of success. Granted the Chargers were up 20 by that point (and then 13) so they were playing prevent, but they started getting beat.

Per FootballOutsiders, that’s not unusual — Chargers secondary is average or below against all WR.

I wonder if we’ll see a few 4 WR looks on Sunday, with Edelman, Hogan, Patterson and Dorsett testing how they handle a spread offense. Could even check into that if Patterson is lined up as an RB.
 

dcmissle

Deflatigator
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 4, 2005
27,341
If it is 20s or colder out at kickoff that could have a huge impact on the kicking game and it simply might not be possible for Ghost to kick it out of the endzone.
51 degrees in Baltimore yesterday, with a kicker who can boost it out of the stadium, and this is how you start the second half when your offense wouldn’t show up until 10’minutes left in the game.

https://www.chargers.com/video/king-takes-off-for-72-yards-on-second-half-kick-return

Last night, temp in the 30s in Chicago, Cohen fields the kick on the 7, takes it to the 43, and you win the game by an inch (because of a less than average hold and a tip).

HCs smartest kids in the class and a former special teams genius.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
38,246
deep inside Guido territory
Mike Giardi makes some interesting points in a Twitter thread.

--Gus Bradley comes from the Seattle system of cover-3 which Brady has toasted in the past by utilizing the backs which a lot of us have been saying.
--Philip Rivers throws almost a quarter of his passes to the running backs. Gordon and Ekeler combined for almost 1,000 yards in receiving yet only combined for 1 catch for 3 yards out of the slot. So, most of his throws are to the backs swinging out of the backfield. This is going to be a big Van Noy/Hightower/DMC/Chung cover in space and tackle type of game.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
11,916
Mansfield MA
Great post, thank you for taking the time to research. One question - how is power running game defined? Just curious how that changes the sample size.
Here's a piece I did for ITP on man / zone a few years back:
http://insidethepylon.com/film-study/film-study-nfl/offense-film-study-nfl/2014/09/29/anatomy-of-an-adjustment-chiefs-run-blocking/

--DO NOT KICK IT TO DESMOND KING. Kick everything out of the end zone or squib kick. I don't care. Just don't give King a chance to affect the game. The kick coverage has been terrible all year so don't give the best KR in the game anything.
King had a big year as a punt returner, but was right around average as a kick returner. His 13.8 average per punt return was 3rd of 19 qualifiers; his 23.7 yards per kick return was only 8th of 12 qualifers. Which makes sense - he's quick but his long speed was a question mark coming out of Iowa. He had a big return yesterday (72 yards) but his season-long was only 40 yards.
 

dcmissle

Deflatigator
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 4, 2005
27,341
In fact, we saw that in the game on Sunday — once the Ravens started opening up and throwing they had a lot of success. Granted the Chargers were up 20 by that point (and then 13) so they were playing prevent, but they started getting beat.

Per FootballOutsiders, that’s not unusual — Chargers secondary is average or below against all WR.

I wonder if we’ll see a few 4 WR looks on Sunday, with Edelman, Hogan, Patterson and Dorsett testing how they handle a spread offense. Could even check into that if Patterson is lined up as an RB.
Harbaugh is an excellent coach. He also is a weasel who has survived this long in part by throwing people under the bus, typically OCs. And, of course, he is a whiner.

So when Harbaugh said after the game, “the Chargers out executed us, deserved to win the game” were the better team, yada yada, it was a flat out admission that he fucked up.

This was good old fashioned AFC North smash mouth testosterone poisoning — “we do what we do!!!”

Until you don’t ...
 

Mooch

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,292
Desmond King is a 1st team All-Pro, but the other members of the secondary can be beat. I think they will take some deep shots, but will be based off of their play action out of a heavier formation. It allows the OL to have a bit of help against that good LA pass rush while in likelihood taking a defensive back off of the field for LA.
King typically plays in the slot. Expect him to follow Edelman around all game. That leaves our outside speed guys against some sub-par defenders.
 

EL Jeffe

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 30, 2006
594
A couple of random tidbits:
  • Snow, poor field conditions will slow down a pass rush. That impacts Ingram/Bosa more, who rely on footwork more than power (not that they don't have power elements to their rush). On the outside, you aren't beating Brown & Cannon with a bull rush. You beat them with explosive movements - much harder to do in the snow.
  • The east coast/west coast travel is a factor. It's not a determining factor, but it's a factor. That's a 6 hour flight (give or take) plus airport logistics. That comes into play for players who are rehabbing injuries; very hard to properly rehab on a flight. BB has mentioned a couple of times the decision teams have to make about whether a player who is close to playing if they will make the trip vs. just declaring him out to properly rehab. Obviously a guy like Gordon will play, but he'll lose some recovery time. Doesn't mean he won't gut out a great performance, but he won't be as healthy as he otherwise would have been with back-to-back home games.
  • Very interested to see if LA goes with their quarters package. Baltimore didn't counter with many 2TE sets. I'm sure the Patriots would, assuming Allen can go this week (he didn't practice last week, hopefully for rest rather than a setback). Patriots are a very physical offense vs. a very fast defense (based on packages). That'll be fun to monitor.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
11,916
Mansfield MA
King typically plays in the slot. Expect him to follow Edelman around all game. That leaves our outside speed guys against some sub-par defenders.
Casey Hayward is really good, too. I don't know that the matchups on the outside are going to be all that great given the Patriots' receiver situation.

Here's one stat that jumps off the page at me: The Chargers rank 31st in the league in DVOA against deep passes (defined as 16 or more yards in the air). I know that conventional wisdom is ball-control, running game, short dump offs to RBs but I think this secondary is not very stout in coverage and can be beaten with speed. I'd use a lot of Patterson and Dorsett and take some deep shots early.
This kind of makes sense. You'd think a Cover 3 team would be good against the deep ball but FS Jahleel Addae is probably the weak link in that secondary.

--Gus Bradley comes from the Seattle system of cover-3 which Brady has toasted in the past by utilizing the backs which a lot of us have been saying.
The linebackers are probably the defense's weak link. I watched a lot of LAC last year and that unit was kind of a mess, and it's mostly the same guys. Jatavis Brown is the kind of "great athlete, questionable instincts" guy that the Pats have been exploiting Brady's entire career.
 

Carmine Hose

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 2, 2001
4,936
Dorchester, MA
It's going to be in the mid-60s in Costa Mesa where the Chargers practice all week. Hoping for snow to jolt them a little. Pats have an opportunity to practice in crap weather outdoors this week.

With the potential snow, given that it's a turf field, I don't think that slows down the Chargers, but you'd hope the receivers develop butterfingers.
 

dcmissle

Deflatigator
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 4, 2005
27,341
Re LBs, the Chargers adjusted from a couple of weeks back and jammed the box with safeties. And the Ravens for 3 quarters were like, “well fuck, with our o-line line and RBs, we ought to be able to run on first AND second down.”

Re travel. I did DC to SF for a good while. It’s a bitch. I get that these are elite athletes, but three such trips in 8 days is not going to be easy for them.
 

brandonchristensen

mad photochops
SoSH Member
Feb 4, 2012
23,181
The Chargers are definitely low on my “most hated” team. I guess losing LT will do that (and being of little consequence for a few years).

I have no idea how it will go. The Pats have been wildly inconsistent but strong against good teams.
 

dcmissle

Deflatigator
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 4, 2005
27,341
As a Michigan Man, I can say with confidence that "he's never seen MY heat" is verrrry Harbaugh.
They are gonna float Flacco’s contract status to explain no QB switch. Which is a legitimate worry. But if that’s a risk you are unwilling to run, then Flacco should have been inactive, not RGIII. The glass should have been broken after the first Ravens’ possession of the second half.

And before that, they should have adjusted the offense with Lamar in the ways suggested above.

The point of this is that it was a very poorly coached game by Harbaugh. Martindale gets an A for the defense, but that exhausts the coaching value brought to the table. Hopefully, we can do much better.