Sunday, November 5th
San Diego Chargers (5-2) at New England Patriots (6-1)
A big game for both teams, for the Chargers they need to keep that one game lead between them and the Chiefs, and for the Patriots they will want to keep to within a game of the Bills to make for a very exciting second half of the season.
Chargers Run Offense versus Patriots Run Defense
The Chargers are certainly not built around their running game. Melvin Gordon is the featured running back for the Chargers and will carry the load against the Pats. The line is not one that will open up a lot of holes for Gordon and I am not sure he has the talent to do it on his own. The Chargers have a 3 yard per carry average this season so far, only 3 teams are worse. Gordon might get between 10-15 carries on the ground and may be more of a factor in the passing game. On the defensive side, the Pats do an ok job and their front seven should be talented enough to hold Gordon at bay.
Patriots Run Offense versus Chargers Run Defense
Like the Chargers, the Patriots are not built around their running game but they are much more committed to the run than the Chargers are. Only 6 teams run the ball more than the Patriots and most of their runs are up the middle and to the right of the line. I think they should focus on running much more to their left, they are averaging more yards per carry to that side but they run significantly less to the left. This is the strongest run blocking part of their line, so I feel they will see more success if they focus a little more of the runs to the left. The Chargers are young on the Dline but have done a decent job to this point. The Chargers struggle stopping the run up the middle and this is where the Pats run the most.
Chargers Pass Offense versus Patriots Pass Defense
The big question here is will QB Philip Rivers start, he is listed as probable but the Chargers may nor risk him to further injury. The Chargers have the 3rd ranked Pass Offense in the league and Rivers is certainly the key to success here and he is one of the most accurate passers in the league. He spreads the ball around with 4 receivers having over 300 yards so far. The Line does a nice job protecting Rivers also allowing him time to find his receivers. The Pats have a banged up secondary but have maintained a nice level of performance and rank 12th against the Pass. Big reason for this is due to the pass rush from the Patriots, while they may not be one of the leagues best in sacks they more than make up for it in QB pressure, they are one of the best at getting pressure on the QB and will certainly be a big factor with a less than 100% Rivers.
Patriots Pass Offense versus Chargers Pass Defense
The Patriots are also less than 100% at QB with Carr having a strained triceps muscle but should be good to go on Sunday. The Pats rely heavily on Gronkowski and Edelman in their pass attack and also Charles out of the backfield. Back up QB McGettigan has actually performed better than Carr during his spell out with injury. So it will be an interesting game-time decision to see who actually starts. They go up against one of the better pass defenses in the league, the Chargers rank 7th against the Pats 18th ranked Pass Offense. They have two young stud Corners that make it difficult to go deep on these guys and are two of the best corners in the league.
San Diego Chargers 24 New England Patriots 27