New England Patriots vs. San Diego Chargers
Two NFL heavyweights with Super Bowl aspirations meet for a big early season match up as the New England Patriots host the San Diego Chargers. The Patriots are -6 point favorites over the Chargers with an over/under point total set at 49.5.
It’s tough to even put how well Tom Brady played in the New England Patriots opener in perspective but it’s clear that he is ready for the season and clear he is focused on winning another championship. Brady threw for 517 yards and four touchdowns while having his way with the Miami Dolphins defense exploiting every opening he could find and every match up. Brady’s performance was one of the best all time in terms of yardage but coming on the road against the sixth ranked defense from a year ago made it even more impressive. Wes Welker nearly stole the show with eight catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns including a 99 yarder, Aaron Hernadez had seven catches for 103 yards and a touchdown, and Deoin Branch had seven catches for 93 yards. Danny Woodhead ran for 69 yards and picked up some key first downs to keep drives alive. The Patriots’ defense looked vulnerable at times but came up big when they needed to including two goal line stands. Andre Carter, Mark Anderson, and Patrick Chung all had sacks and Devin McCourty had 10 tackles, Patrick Chung had nine, and Jerod Mayo had five. With the expectations now sky high, we know Bill Bellickick will keep it all in perspective for his team as they focus on this week’s game.
The San Diego Chargers are known for slow starts to the season and in the case of their opener against Minnesota, it was just a slow first half as they pulled out the win in the second half. The Chargers started their season allowing the opening kickoff to be ran back for a touchdown and had to fight uphill from there though they looked in control in the second half. Philip Rivers threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions, one of which was particularly bad where he failed to see the linebacker. Ryan Mathews and Michael Tolbert split carries evenly with Mathews gaining 45 yards and Tolbert gaining 35 and scoring a touchdown. Antonio Gates had nine catches in the game while Tolbert had nine with two of those going for touchdowns. The Chargers defense was simply outstanding and while they allowed 159 yards on the ground, 98 of them to Adrian Peterson, they allowed just 28 yards passing but of course facing Brady this week they will be tested in that regard. Andrew Barnes and Antonio Garay each had sacks and Shawn Phillips snatched an interception for the Chargers. While it’s a long road trip to Foxborough, expect Rivers and the Chargers to be fired up for this one.
New England is 4-1 against the spread in their last five against the AFC, 6-2 against the spread in their last eight games overall, and 1-3-1 against the spread in their last five Sunday games following a Monday Night game. San Diego is 4-0 against the spread against a team with a winning record, 5-2-1 against the spread in their last eight games against the AFC, and 2-5-1 against the spread in their last eight road games. The Underdog is 6-2 against the spread in the last eight meetings of these two.
It’s tough not to be impressed by what New England did on Monday but at the same time it just gives the public more of a basis to pound the Pats here and move the line far too high. San Diego is a quality team and while I am not sure I like their chances so much of winning on the road, they should keep it close enough to cover.
San Diego Chargers +6 New England Patriots