After getting drilled in the helmet by a R.A. Dickey knuckleball, Mike Napoli follows through on his monstrous 451-foot home run at Rogers Centre. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young) Video: Napoli Beaned, Homers into Fifth Deck in 7-Run 11th Inning for Red Sox Xander Bogaerts striking out (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports) Struggling Season Continues for Xander Bogaerts Logan Mankins is heading to Tampa Bay for TE Tim Wright and a draft pick. (Getty Images) Report: Patriots Trade Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay Jon Lester (Ezra Shaw, Getty Images) Red Sox Have Decisions to Make and Money to Spend this Off-Season

Gametime: Patriots At Chargers

The Teams: New England Patriots (3-1) At San Diego Chargers (2-3)
The Terms: Regular Season Week 6
The Place: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
The Time: 8:15 pm
The Channel: NBC
3 Burning Questions:

  1. Will the Patriots get off to a fast start? Last week the Pats started slow and found themselves down 14-7 before long. Against a Chargers team with weapons like Philip Rivers and LaDanian Tomlinson, a slow start could see them down by three touchdowns, a hole they probably wouldn’t recover from. Hopefully the Pats can score the first points, particularly on the first drive. Ball control again will be important as Rivers and LT can beat you down the field in just one play. The defense has to get settled into a groove and a lot of that depends on the game plan the coaching staff put in place for the game.
  2. Where is the offense going to come from? This seems to be a common question early on this season as both the running game and passing game has been inconsistent. Matt Cassel finally hooked up with Moss on the long ball and the deep running attack d seemed to get on track despite another stinker from Laurence Maroney. The key to last week’s high point total was the offensive line as the hog mollies up front won the battle in the trenches and allowed the Pats to dominate the time of possession. Against a quick Chargers defense it will be vital to again win the trenches and protect Cassel. Both LaMont Jordan and Maroney are banged up so we’ll see a lot of Kevin Faulk and Sammy Morris, which isn’t so much a bad thing.
  3. Will the California stay prove beneficial? The Patriots decided to stay in California for the duration of their two game west coast trip and did not come back east for practice/recovery. I think it will benefit the Patriots as they got away from the distractions at home and could relax in the sun in Cali. Road trips can bring teams together and seeing as the Patriots are five point underdogs this week, it’s a prime opportunity to circle the wagons and send the underachieving Chargers to 2-4.

Prediction

The Chargers are a much more dangerous team than the 49ers and though the Patriots took care of business at Candlestick, it wasn’t easy. The Chargers have been beaten three times this season, twice on the last play of the game. I think the Patriots have to get off to a good start, but I get the feeling it may be a lot like San Fran last week. With Jordan doubtful and Maroney questionable the running game is going to struggle. Cassel performed just okay last week with his two interceptions and needs to continue building that relationship with Randy Moss. It’s set up for the Patriots to overcome the odds (and odds-makers), come together and beat the overrated Chargers. But I just see the Chargers establishing LT and opening up the passing game for Rivers. If the Pats get down early, it could be a blowout.

Chargers 31, Patriots 20

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Discussion

4 comments for “Gametime: Patriots At Chargers”

  1. So if the Chargers beat us, and the Dolphins beat the Chargers and us…does that make the Dolphins better than the Patriots?

    Tho…we did beat the Jets, who beat the Fins

    Posted by KC | October 12, 2008, 9:09 pm
  2. The patriots defense is just like swiss cheese. They get killed all over the field. I mean…they never cause turnovers and always allow big plays, which is a horrible combination.

    Matt Cassel has a tendency to hold onto the ball…which is bad when your O-line isnt good at all.

    the end result? a blowout midway through the third quarter…

    Posted by KC | October 12, 2008, 10:35 pm
  3. Close prediction X. This was a painful one to watch.

    Posted by Chris | October 12, 2008, 11:15 pm
  4. [...] the Patriots get off to a fast start? In my game preview I said the Patriots needed to get off to a fast start or the Chargers could run up the score quick [...]

    Posted by Chargers 30, Patriots 10 - The Verdict | Sports of Boston | October 14, 2008, 8:24 pm

Post a comment