AFC Divisional Buildup: Chargers vs. Pats

pappymojo

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Jul 28, 2010
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I was at the Tenn game as well. So cold that tickets were readily available for a Pats playoff game. My room-mate at the time had served in the marines as a winter I-dont-know-what. He looked at me, said 'no' and had me change. Wool and synthetics with extra pairs of socks in all my pockets. Someone had an RV in the lot and was hosting poker. Hot cider and rum. Drunk guys without shirts.
 
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Old Fart Tree

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That’s the game where McNair threw one up on fourth down that i thought should have been caught but was dropped to end it, right?

I always like McNair. Tough SOB
 

dynomite

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That’s the game where McNair threw one up on fourth down that i thought should have been caught but was dropped to end it, right?

I always like McNair. Tough SOB
Sure was. Would have been a great play, but still, as you can see, it hit his WR in both hands:



Edit: You can't tell from the picture that it was basically a Hail Mary, a 40-yard heave on 4th and 12 from midfield that Bennett had to stop and come back to. Should have caught it, but I can't imagine what trying to catch that pass in that temperature would have been like.
 

tims4wins

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Edit: You can't tell from the picture that it was basically a Hail Mary, a 40-yard heave on 4th and 12 from midfield that Bennett had to stop and come back to. Should have caught it, but I can't imagine what trying to catch that pass in that temperature would have been like.
I can't imagine doing anything football-wise in that weather. Tackling or getting tackled? Ugh sends shivers down my spine. Worst than hitting one off the handle in baseball in the 48 degree MA Aprils.
 

queenb

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Jan 6, 2016
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Also at the Titans game. My friend and I were in the second-highest row so we also got to enjoy the stiff breeze. We weren't dressed for the weather at all and a very lovely older couple next to us, real Foxboro vets, had brought extra hand warmers and gave them to us. Said the trick was to put a few in your socks. I saw at least one fan with his shirt off right around kickoff. If I remember correctly, the Titans OL said before the game they wouldn't be wearing sleeves to prove that the cold didn't affect them.
 

jmcc5400

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Sep 29, 2000
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Sure was. Would have been a great play, but still, as you can see, it hit his WR in both hands:



Edit: You can't tell from the picture that it was basically a Hail Mary, a 40-yard heave on 4th and 12 from midfield that Bennett had to stop and come back to. Should have caught it, but I can't imagine what trying to catch that pass in that temperature would have been like.
What I had forgotten is that Bennett made two incredible sideline catches on that drive before flubbing the "easy" one
 

ObstructedView

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That CBS broadcast is a good reminder of the fact that Jeff Fisher was once regarded as an above-average NFL head coach. Listening to Simms rhapsodizing about "when we talked to him last night," you'd think the Pats were playing checkers against him.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I love cold weather football games more than almost anything. Maybe because I have been to so many, and they tend to be December and January games in Foxboro which have generally been pretty awesome the last two decades. The Ravens game in 2015 was freezing, and the comraderie in the stands was awesome. There is just something about being out in the cold watching the team play that is awesome.

I wasn’t at that Titans game. Along with the Snow Bowl game it is the two games I reallly wish I would have made it to.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Never went to any of these, but if we’re just talking straight coldest games attended, the 2007 night game against the Eagle was about as cold as I’ve ever been.
 

dynomite

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No doubt for me. With the old metal benches at “Schaefer” covered in ice to boot.
January 1997. “Beverly Hills Ninja” starring Chris Farley is the top movie at the box office, Bill Clinton is president and no one has heard of Monica Lewinsky, Princess Diana is alive and well, Sony Michel is in diapers...

And Adam Vinatieri is the Patriots kicker.
 

johnmd20

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January 1997. “Beverly Hills Ninja” starring Chris Farley is the top movie at the box office, Bill Clinton is president and no one has heard of Monica Lewinsky, Princess Diana is alive and well, Sony Michel is in diapers...

And Adam Vinatieri is the Patriots kicker.
Remarkable.
 

soxhop411

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Dec 4, 2009
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Rex Ryan Hates the patriots soooo much....

Two things Pre-game:

The former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills coach was asked whether coaching experience would play a factor during Sunday’s AFC Divisional Round matchup between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New England Patriots. Chargers coach Anthony Lynn will be coaching in just his second career playoff game, while Belichick will be putting on the headset for the 40th time in the postseason.

Despite the discrepancy in experience, which is the largest in NFL history per ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Ryan doesn’t think Lynn will be scared by the satanic figure that prowls the Patriots sideline in a cut-up sweatshirt.

“I can tell you this about Anthony: He’s not going to be intimidated by Bill Belichick, and a lot of coaches are. But Anthony is not intimidated by the devil,” Ryan said, via Reiss. “In fact, he’ll look forward to this matchup, and I think that’s the difference between Anthony and almost every coach. That’s just him.”
https://nesn.com/2019/01/rex-ryan-refers-to-bill-belichick-as-devil-in-patriots-chargers-analysis/
and on ESPN last week:
"The L.A. Chargers are what we should be taking about. ... This defense was phenomenal. And guess what? I've got news for ya. We're going to be taking about 'em next Monday after they whip New England."
 

RedOctober3829

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Jul 19, 2005
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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.
A lot of this came to fruition today.
 

bunchabums

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Jul 16, 2005
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Leading up to this game, I started to respect Rivers to the point of even sort of feeling sorry for the guy. Then the game happened, and I remembered what a whiner he is. Loved watching him melt down again.
 

Marciano490

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Nov 4, 2007
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I “sat” behind Curt Curtis and Natalie Jacobsen at this one.
I told this before I think, but I was way up in the bleachers. The guys in front of me were beyond drunk. One came back from the bathroom with his dick out. Like full on out his zipper.

His buddies kept trying to get him to tuck it back in, more because of the extreme cold than the indecent exposure. He was too blotto to comply. So they had to have a serious conversation about who would do the put back wearing whose gloves and whether that was better than letting him get frostbite on his cock.
 

Ralphwiggum

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And I’ve mentioned this before but (a) old Foxboro stadium was where I first found out what drunk guys looked like when I was a kid and my dad used to take me to games there, and (b) I think if I were to rank the 20 drunkest people I’ve ever encountered in my life probably 15 of them were at games at that old Stadium. People used to get completely obliterated.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Apr 12, 2005
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I missed one Pats home game from 1998-2013, so needless to say, I've seen it all. There is no doubt in my mind that the Titans playoff game was the coldest game I've ever been to, and I don't think the official numbers (4 degrees, -10 wind chill) are accurate. When we were tailgating, we had to keep the cases of beer literally 6 inches from the bonfire to keep them from freezing. By the time you opened a beer and took your second sip, it was a slushy, and the third sip was frozen solid. You just had to put it back in the fire between sips to keep it from freezing. That game was the last time my group ever tailgated without tents and gas heaters in the winter.

To date, the greatest time I've ever had at a game was the Snow Bowl. It was just the perfect day, from start to finish, and the perfect way to close down the hellhole that was Foxboro Stadium. I'll never forget the tuck rule, and as fans started filing to the aisles, I was left alone with my buddies, on the bleachers, 20 rows from the field, at the 45 yard line screaming as loud as I could "SOMEONE FUCKING TELL BELICHICK THAT'S REVIEWABLE. IT'S FUCKING REVIEWABLE. IT'S THE FUCKING TUCK RULE." It seemed an eternity until the announcer came over the loudspeaker and told the crowd "the play is under review." At that point, everyone was in the aisles (except me and my three friends) and they just stopped and waited for the announcement. Once the announcement was made that the Pats were retaining the ball, nobody dared return to their seats for fear of messing with the football Gods, so we basically had the entire midfield area in our section to ourselves and the snow that was falling until the game ended. What a time to be a 25 year old Pats fan with season tickets.