The New England Patriots welcome the Los Angeles Chargers to Foxborough for a date at Gillette. The Pats are coming off a snoozer against the Atlanta Falcons. The most anticipated rematch between the Patriots and Falcons put everyone to sleep, as the Patriots won a fog covered contest by a score of 23-7. Awful game by Atlanta, who looked lost on offense.
Do you think Falcon fans want Kyle Shanahan back as the offensive coordinator? Steve Sarkisian called an awful game, not giving his playmakers a chance to do something. When he finally did, and Matt Ryan threw it up to Julio Jones, it was too late. The most bizarre call had to be a jet sweep on 3rd and goal from the 1-yard line. What?
I can’t tell you what was going through the head of Sarkisian last Sunday night. It was like he was randomly selecting plays with a dart board up in the booth. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Mohamad Sanu, Devonta Freeman and you can only score a garbage touchdown against the Patriot defense? The Patriots allowed a 300-yard passer every game, and then Matt Ryan and the Falcons waltz in and lay an egg.
The Patriots’ offense was good, there were no issues. They didn’t put up monster numbers, but they didn’t have to. Their game plan would have changed if the Falcons kept up with them, but they didn’t have to open up the playbook, because the Atlanta offense was so putrid. The Chargers will try to look better against the Patriots this afternoon in Foxborough.
It isn’t going to be a fog-out again, but there is a chance of some scattered showers in the area on Sunday. It doesn’t look like it’s going to be a rainout, but at times, there could be a decent amount of rain. The Chargers brought the thunder and rain against the Broncos last week. LA put together their most impressive showing of the year, beating the Broncos down by a score of 21-0. They have a much better offense on their hands in Week 8, though. Head below for our free Chargers vs. Patriots pick.
L.A. Chargers vs. New England Patriots Betting Odds:
vs. Patriots -7.5(-105)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Chargers vs. Patriots Pick:
Philip Rivers is one of the few quarterbacks I have felt bad for in his career. He’s a good quarterback, and has usually been surrounded by a bunch of ineptness, whether coaching or players around him. Rivers is running out of time if wants to find a Super Bowl ring. The guy on the other sideline today has five rings and counting. Brady and the Patriots head into Sunday with a record of 5-2, losses against the Chiefs and Panthers, both at home. Nobody else has really broken through, so the Pats are still a viable option to reach the Super Bowl again.
They are going to have to do it without linebacker Dont’a Hightower. He’s gone for the year after suffering a torn pectoral muscle. Hightower has had issues staying healthy in his career and the Patriots have been fine. However, they do not have the same kind of depth on defense they had then. The Patriots’ defense played a great game against the Falcons, holding them to just 7 points and 233 yards passing from Ryan.
Overall, the Patriots are still 32nd in yardage allowed per game. The Chargers have a good offensive line, and have allowed just 10 sacks this season, which is 4th best in the NFL. You can subtract a blitzing Hightower from this game, one less thing for the offensive line to worry about. Where the Chargers are going to make their bread in this game is with their pass rush.
Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram can be unblockable at times. I believe they combine as the best 1-2 pass rush combo in the NFL. Note that starting right tackle Marcus Cannon enters as questionable. If he plays, he’s going to be out there with a bum ankle. It’s one angle that many people will overlook. The Patriots should win, but they’re going to have issues along the offensive line against Bosa and Ingram. Look for a Pats win and Chargers cover on Sunday.
PICK: CHARGERS +7.5 (-115)