The Pats fly out west to LA following a shellacking of the Jets at home. They should be riding high after they hung a 50 burger on the Jets, but traveling to Cali is never an easy trip. Justin Herbert has been on fire so far this season, but was stifled by the Ravens in his last outing. The Pats are going to have to win this one on out-coaching the Chargers and flipping what Brandon Staley does back on himself. With that said, here is a quick Patriots vs. Chargers Preview for you.
A Key Component for The Patriots…
The Pats offense was clicking on all cylinders last week. The running game really got going, Damien Harris and JJ Taylor each had a pair of touchdowns. Harris added 106 yards to that, and Brandon Bolden found his way into the end zone on a receiving TD. If they can continue to have a strong showing from the running backs, they should have success against the Chargers defense. The run game will keep Joey Bosa at bay, and force Derwin James to drop down into the box to help out.
If they can force Derwin James out of position, Mac Jones will be able to make quick decisions and get the ball where he wants. Hunter Henry has been on a TD tear lately, and I expect him to have a revenge game and continue that this week. The Pats will have to scheme their receivers open this week because the chargers secondary is no joke. Chris Harris, Michael Davis and Asante Samuel Jr. have been an elite cornerback group to this point. This could also be a wake up game for Jonnu Smith. The Chargers have some injuries at linebacker, so it’s his time to shine and be a playmaker in this offense.
What The Pats Need To Do Defensively..
The defense is going to go back to their “bend but don’t break” style. Herbert is not a QB that you can simply stop. He has elite arm talent and is learning how to read coverages and blitzes very fast. Keenan Allen is always reliable and Mike Williams has turned into the big play threat he was supposed to be. The Pats secondary has not lived up to expectations this season, and they are going to need to play their best just to compete. The Chargers have struggled in the kicking game, so if they can stop them in the red zone they have a good chance of a missed field goal.
Brandon Staley has shown this year that he loves taking risks. Going for it on 4th down, and 2 point conversions frequently. Belichick needs to take advantage and make him regret taking those risks, and that’ll be a huge key to victory. 27-23 Pats.
For additional thoughts, check out the latest episode of the Tuck Rule Takes podcast. The official New England Patriots podcast for Couch Guy Sports.
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