AFC Divisional Buildup: Chargers vs. Pats

SirPsychoSquints

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I looked. admittedly not for long, for examples of NFl teams that chose to stay on the road for an entire week preparing for a playoff game.
Possible scenarios would be limited.

  1. 2015, SEA beat MIN and then had to travel to CAR (this was the only possibility, as SEA was a 6 seed
  2. 2013, SF beat GB and then had to travel to CAR (might have been SEA, the #1)
  3. 2012, might be the best example, SEA beat WAS then had to travel to ATL (but might have been SF, the #2)
  4. 2011, NYG beat GB and then had to travel to SF (could have been NO)
  5. 2008, ARI beat CAR and then traveled home, but might have had to go to NYG
  6. 2007 is a good example, SD beat IND and then had to travel to NE (might have been JAX)
Note: I have not checked if any of these teams stayed on the road, just that these might be good examples to check.
 

Blue Monkey

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DIdn't the Pats do something similar when they played in Denver and Mexico?
They did. Stayed in Colorado Springs at the Air Force Academy. Which was scheduled what, 9 months in advance? Lot easier to plan that out than go on the fly when you have 7 days warning.
 

Saints Rest

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Nothing new but the NE OL is going to be huge this week. SD plays zone which means there will be soft spots but it often takes time to find those. If SD can get quick pressure with just 4 that makes for a very long day for Brady. If the OL holds up then I expect Brady to carve them up.
As has been true in every important game since The Scottish Game.
 

Bergs

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These are always good for a chuckle, but this one legit cracked me up a couple of times.
 

BaseballJones

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I have a friend on the Chargers. I texted him congrats after the Ravens game and we got chatting about this upcoming game. I asked if they're gonna play 7 DBs again and he chuckled and said, "That's secret". We then talked about the Pats and how everyone is viewing them as being down. He replied, "No way. Playoff Pats are a different animal."

So take it for what it's worth, but the Chargers are taking the New England Patriots VERY seriously. Which, obviously, they should, but still.
 

RedOctober3829

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Listening to Bedard on F&M podcast. I'm not sure how he comes to the conclusion that the Chargers are clearly the better team and that the Patriots need a ST and/or defensive score to win the game. He says LA is the better offensive group and defensive group while the Pats have an edge in ST. He has no idea why they are even favored. Am I missing something here?
 

staz

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The cradle of the game.
Listening to Bedard on F&M podcast. I'm not sure how he comes to the conclusion that the Chargers are clearly the better team and that the Patriots need a ST and/or defensive score to win the game. He says LA is the better offensive group and defensive group while the Pats have an edge in ST. He has no idea why they are even favored. Am I missing something here?
LOL, that's fine. What does Vegas say? What do the PAID PROFESSIONALS at the WORLD'S TOP SPORTSBOOKS say? They say the Patriots will win by more than a field goal.

I'm gonna go with that.

But seriously, nobody knows jackshit, right? In these hours leading up to the game, I'm going to convince myself that every possible scenario (good or bad) is absolutely going to happen. Blowout loss? "Yup, so obvious it wasn't their year." Blowout win? "Vintage Brady." Each perfectly plausible. And everywhere in between. Play this game 10,000 times, and you'll get exactly 10,000 different outcomes. Randomness happens. But the Pats will win this game 7 out of every 10 times played.
 

Kramerica Industries

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Listening to Bedard on F&M podcast. I'm not sure how he comes to the conclusion that the Chargers are clearly the better team and that the Patriots need a ST and/or defensive score to win the game. He says LA is the better offensive group and defensive group while the Pats have an edge in ST. He has no idea why they are even favored. Am I missing something here?
Bedard has become the “hot takes” guy he said he wouldn’t be. He also says he lacks confidence in the Pats coaching (especially defensively on 3rd down) because, in part, they fell behind 28-3 in the Super Bowl against the Falcons. He failed to mention that 7 points came off a pick 6. Or that the Falcons scored 44 and 36 points the two playoff games prior. They also lead the league in points per game on the season that year. 21 offensive points sounds good to me.

I get the Eagles game was frustrating on D but they also had a very different front 7 in that game than they do now. The talking heads keep saying “this isn’t the Patriots of the past”. And they are right. The defense is much improved from last year.
 

The Big Red Kahuna

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I’ve always been perplexed at Keenan often wearing a hooded sweatshirt under his uniform at times... tried googling it to see if it’s because he doesn’t like playing in cold. Only thing I could find was that he sometimes wears one in practice so he “feels lighter” on game-day. But that doesn’t explain why I’ve definitely noticed him wearing one during many games.

I’m going with he hates cold and will be a non-factor
 

JokersWildJIMED

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LOL, that's fine. What does Vegas say? What do the PAID PROFESSIONALS at the WORLD'S TOP SPORTSBOOKS say? They say the Patriots will win by more than a field goal.
That is not what being favored in a game means.

As far as Bedard is concerned, he has been all over Brady for his play this season, and has actual analysis, not hot takes, to back it up
 

Super Nomario

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Listening to Bedard on F&M podcast. I'm not sure how he comes to the conclusion that the Chargers are clearly the better team and that the Patriots need a ST and/or defensive score to win the game. He says LA is the better offensive group and defensive group while the Pats have an edge in ST. He has no idea why they are even favored. Am I missing something here?
These teams are really close. Pats scored 8 more points, allowed 4 fewer. LAC probably played a tougher schedule, but the game is in NE. They are probably the two most balanced teams in the AFC, maybe the two most balanced teams in the entire NFL.
 

DrewDawg

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Bedard has become the “hot takes” guy he said he wouldn’t be. He also says he lacks confidence in the Pats coaching (especially defensively on 3rd down) because, in part, they fell behind 28-3 in the Super Bowl against the Falcons.
Patriots are better defensively (and offensively) on 3rd down this year than the Chargers.
 

simplyeric

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Listening to Bedard on F&M podcast. I'm not sure how he comes to the conclusion that the Chargers are clearly the better team and that the Patriots need a ST and/or defensive score to win the game. He says LA is the better offensive group and defensive group while the Pats have an edge in ST. He has no idea why they are even favored. Am I missing something here?
Well a D or ST a score by Baltimore would have won the game for them. Frankly, one less turnover quite possibly would have too.

Season turnover differential:

Baltimore: -3
Chargers: +1

Patriots: +15

Obviously, any given Sunday. But it’s not like the Chargers were a take-away machine this year and brought it to the Ravens. The ravens were bad at it, and suffered.
The patriots are way on the other end (even with Brady’s sky-high interception numbers).
So sure, Patriots points for (and points against) are slightly higher than Chargers, which has the turnovers baked in. There’s some truth to needing win the TO battle (at there usually is).
 

E5 Yaz

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It's such a lazy talking point to join the drumbeat of how the Patriots' time on the stage is over ... especially when they're playing a team that's been out of the national spotlight for a while.
It's an easier thing to say, because there's so many comparisons that can be made to NE teams past ... but it completely ignores the truth that every year for any team is different than those before it.

Talking heads, even those with NE backgrounds, are the ones who are exhausted by this. They desperately want to be able to talk about something else.

I fart in their general direction.
 

Harry Hooper

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Bedard has become the “hot takes” guy he said he wouldn’t be. He also says he lacks confidence in the Pats coaching (especially defensively on 3rd down) because, in part, they fell behind 28-3 in the Super Bowl against the Falcons. He failed to mention that 7 points came off a pick 6.

Thank you. It's really tough for the defensive coaches to come up with a scheme vs. INT returns.
 

RGREELEY33

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Fuck all the non-vitriol for the Chargers in here. LaDanian Tomlinson was a total piece of shit when he played against the Patriots and has remained so on TV.

Destroy them.
 

DourDoerr

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shoulda gone with

I wonder if Ted nailed this on the first take. If he didn't, did he have to bring it up or take it down?

That said, I had NFL network on and it's weird how little the anticipated weather is a part of the talking points. Hours to fill on pre-game and I guess it's more important to hear Reggie Wayne grind axes than offer some actual numbers on how a team might perform in difficult conditions.
 

DrewDawg

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I wonder if Ted nailed this on the first take. If he didn't, did he have to bring it up or take it down?

That said, I had NFL network on and it's weird how little the anticipated weather is a part of the talking points. Hours to fill on pre-game and I guess it's more important to hear Reggie Wayne grind axes than offer some actual numbers on how a team might perform in difficult conditions.
Both TWC and Accuweather have like 10-15% chance of precipitation on Sunday. I know there's a potential system out there, but do we really want ex-NFL guys discussing weather models that are showing a very slight chance of anything happening?

That'll change if the system starts to move.
 

Van Everyman

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today that they have signed tight end Stephen Anderson to the 53-man roster from the practice squad and signed defensive back A.J. Howard and offensive lineman Dan Skipper to the practice squad. In addition, New England has placed tight end Jacob Hollister on injured reserve.
https://www.patriots.com/news/patriots-make-a-series-of-roster-transactions
Lost season for Hollister. Too bad. Could’ve used his contributions this year with Gronk and Allen banged up.

I honestly have no idea what to expect. There’s no chance the Pats overlook the Chargers like maybe they did the 2009 Ravens or 2010 Jets. There’s the Bradley history but also the inconsistent play on both sides of the ball of 2018. Brady has looked lethal at times but rushed and out of sorts in others.

The offense has had games where they’ve fired on all cylinders and others where getting first downs is like passing a kidney stone. Defensively they are clearly better than the train wreck Foles torched in the SB and have tended to play the elite offensive teams well but also prone to games where they fail to execute, miss tackles and let other teams grind up ginormous chunks of yards at will.

This is an inconsistent Patriots team—possibly the most inconsistent I can remember—for reasons that are as complex as they are mysterious. And I think anyone who tells you they know which team will show up is fibbing. They could win easily but also lose badly. Nothing would surprise me.
 

Ralphwiggum

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This is an inconsistent Patriots team—possibly the most inconsistent I can remember—for reasons that are as complex as they are mysterious. And I think anyone who tells you they know which team will show up is fibbing. They could win easily but also lose badly. Nothing would surprise me.
Inconsistent is a good description of this team. I think we'll see that on Sunday, some good and some bad on both sides of the ball. The Pats have obviously been much better at home this season and I do think they have a pretty big psychological edge at home in the playoffs against anyone, so I think they will win. But I expect the game thread to be a complete tire fire for long stretches (I know I am not going out on a limb there).
 

DrewDawg

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I wonder how much of that was check downs in the 4th quarter to teams playing catch-up l?
I'm sure some of it, but lots of teams deal with that and they were still second from the bottom over the past 10 years. I mean, the Pats are pretty much always leading in the 4th and they weren't second worst.
 

j44thor

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I wonder how much of that was check downs in the 4th quarter to teams playing catch-up l?
OAK/CLE do count for about 200yds receiving however TN ripped them for 100yds rec in a 2pt game, Gurley hit them for 50yds rec in a blowout win for LAR, Damien Williams went for 74yds rec in a 3pt loss.

Outside of last week, LAC run D has been highly suspect most of the year.

I think we see a heavy dose of Burkhead/White this week.
 

simplyeric

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Fuck all the non-vitriol for the Chargers in here. LaDanian Tomlinson was a total piece of shit when he played against the Patriots and has remained so on TV.

Destroy them.
Ok so I'm not the only one...

whew

I was fishing a few years back with my father in law (who is a burnt out surfer who says unsolicited stuff to strangers like "fuck it, I got enough tackle and ammo to get me through the revolution when it comes"), and there's this burly fucking dude, I mean he was giant. Well over 200 lbs, muscle and fat, biker, had a black leather jacket that was professionally embellished with "FUCK IT AND FISH" on the back, shaved head, lots of tattoos, burly and surly. On the side of his neck, arcing up towards his ear, was a giant tattoo that said "Chargers For Life" with a big Chargers bolt. This guy's neck was huge, and the tattoo was equally large.
So we're out on the day boat and my FiL looks at the guy and just says "So, brother, what are you gonna do when the Chargers leave town?". And the guy turns, rage in his eyes, looks at the addled burn out that is my FiL, and just squints and mumbles "I guess I'll just add 'R.I.P.'", and just shuffles off.

I almost nosed my coffee.

Fuck the Chargers.
 

DrewDawg

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OAK/CLE do count for about 200yds receiving however TN ripped them for 100yds rec in a 2pt game, Gurley hit them for 50yds rec in a blowout win for LAR, Damien Williams went for 74yds rec in a 3pt loss..
Of note though, that the bulk of Duke Johnson's receiving yards were in the first half, not late (67 of 73 yards), so it wasn't against a prevent.

It's safe to say it's a weakness.

Set it up early, then a fake screen to catch them?
 

j44thor

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Of note though, that the bulk of Duke Johnson's receiving yards were in the first half, not late (67 of 73 yards), so it wasn't against a prevent.

It's safe to say it's a weakness.

Set it up early, then a fake screen to catch them?
Coaches typically aren't stupid. LAC know NE throw to the backs a lot and they also know they haven't been good against RBs in the passing game. Wouldn't surprise me if they pay more attention to the RBs and open things up for Hogan/Patterson/Dorsett. I think 1-2 of those three end up with some big plays, my $$ is on Hogan who has done it in the playoffs, esp against zone defense, before.
King likely locks down Jules with Derwin James on Gronk.
The best match-ups are probably going to be the 4th-6th options in the passing game.
 

Super Nomario

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I wonder how much of that was check downs in the 4th quarter to teams playing catch-up l?
It's in the neighborhood of 200 yards receiving by RB in the 4th in games where their teams were trailing. That's not all garbage time, though. Also worth noting that this is where 8 of LAC's sacks come from, too.
 

BaseballJones

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D-Mac returned to practice today. Perfect attendance.
That's one huge thing going for the Patriots this year - they've had remarkably good health, all things considered. Normally when they're healthy, they win the whole shebang. Let's see how this year goes. But this is very good news.
 

tims4wins

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That's one huge thing going for the Patriots this year - they've had remarkably good health, all things considered. Normally when they're healthy, they win the whole shebang. Let's see how this year goes. But this is very good news.
Quite true. The flip side is "perfect health" used to mean Gronk & Edelman were total beasts. I think Edelman is back to at least 90% vintage Edelman, but Gronk... not so much.
 

BaseballJones

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Quite true. The flip side is "perfect health" used to mean Gronk & Edelman were total beasts. I think Edelman is back to at least 90% vintage Edelman, but Gronk... not so much.
Agreed. Full health this year does not mean Gronk is GRONK. So we're gonna have to live with Gronk being a great blocking TE who you still have to respect in the passing game. LA is going to have to devote quality resources to him still - they can't just put some schlep LB on him or he'll kill them. He's still good enough to warrant legit attention. And that *should* help the other receivers.
 

DrewDawg

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He was still 6th in yards and 2nd in yards/catch at TE this year. It’s not Gronk of old but it’s still a lot more a guy to just respect in passing game. He’s still a weapon at TE.
 

ShaneTrot

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Does anyone think Stephen Anderson will be active for this game? I feel like the Pats have skimped on the number of skill position players this year. 3 RBs + 1 FB, 3 TEs (Gronk, Allen and Hollister all missed multiple games) and 4 WRs (I am not including Slater) after losing Gordon. Feels like Brady could use another weapon or two. Plus the special teams were barely above average this year according to the metrics, why have 4 or 5 players who are only special teamers (I am not counting the specialists) if they haven't been that great?

As long as I am complaining, I had high hopes for Hollister this year. He really gave them nothing.
 

Super Nomario

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Does anyone think Stephen Anderson will be active for this game? I feel like the Pats have skimped on the number of skill position players this year. 3 RBs + 1 FB, 3 TEs (Gronk, Allen and Hollister all missed multiple games) and 4 WRs (I am not including Slater) after losing Gordon. Feels like Brady could use another weapon or two. Plus the special teams were barely above average this year according to the metrics, why have 4 or 5 players who are only special teamers (I am not counting the specialists) if they haven't been that great?

As long as I am complaining, I had high hopes for Hollister this year. He really gave them nothing.
I don't think he'll be active, and if he is active, I don't think he'll play much. I mean, Hollister only played 59 snaps all season, 22 in a game Gronk missed (he only hit double digits one other time). And the Chargers have a lot of DB depth, especially safeties; I don't think it's a game where you'd want to take off a WR or RB or FB to put on a guy like Anderson. Unless, that is, he can play STs (as Hollister did).

Re: special teams, it's important, and one of the bigger edges they have over LAC. The smart money would be on pushing this edge as much as they can.
 

RedOctober3829

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A big talking point in this thread this week was the Chargers staying on the East Coast this week. Anthony Lynn addressed that.

"Anthony Lynn says there “was some thought” to staying on the East coast this week but that the logistics were too complicated."