Top 5 Matchups for the Chargers Game:
Coming off of a wonderful morale-boosting win against the Baltimore Ravens, the Patriots take their young team on the road to sunny San Diego. There they will face an underperforming yet dynamic team with its back against the wall. Look for these matchups this week as the Patriots try to improve to an impressive 5-1.
Chargers Desperation vs. Patriots Let Down
The Chargers are a very talented team and are always dangerous. Don’t listen to anybody who thinks that the Patriots will just walk all over them. This game is on the road and the Chargers are going to play with a sense of urgency that will be hard to match. Confounding the problem is that the Patriots, having defeated the vaunted Ravens could be due for a letdown. This is uncharacteristic for a Bill Belichick coached team, but the team is young and that makes their emotional state unpredictable.
Gronkowski and Hernandez vs. Chargers Secondary
These two dynamic Tight Ends are continuing with their impressive rookie campaigns. Hernandez had a few bad drops late in the game against Baltimore, but it was just two isolated bad drops and nothing to be too concerned about. If the trend continues, then we may fear that he has hit a rookie wall of sorts. However, until then, look for Coach O’Brien to try to find these two elusive Tight Ends in the flat.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. Chargers Linebackers
BenJarvus Green-Ellis followed up an impressive performance against Miami with a poor game versus Baltimore. It wasn’t all his fault, as the Ravens defense has always been good against the run, and the Patriots stayed with the hot hand, Danny Woodhead. However, the Patriots will need to establish the run today in order to keep the Chargers Linebackers honest.
Brandon Meriweather vs. Antonio Gates
Brandon made the headlines this week for all the wrong reasons. Now, he will have his hands full with Antonio Gates who is always a formidable opponent even if he is hampered with a bad toe. Since Meriweather can no longer launch himself like a torpedo, maybe he will focus his energy on trying to bat down the pass.
Deion Branch vs. Secondary
Deion Branch was a bona fide star when he was with the Patriots and he returned with a huge bang. Look for him to continue running crisp routes and getting into coverage gaps where Brady can find him.