FOXBORO — Winners of seven consecutive divisional spherical playoff games, the Patriots draw their hardest quarterfinal opponent in a long time this afternoon.
The Chargers enter Gillette Stadium with a better report and, within the eyes of many, a extra complete roster.
They haven’t misplaced a recreation outdoors of Los Angeles County. The Patriots haven’t been defeated at Gillette. So who advances to face the Chiefs in the AFC Championship recreation?
Here’s what might swing the matchup:
*The Chargers are depleted at linebacker and have been utilizing six defensive backs extensively. Towards the Ravens, they played seven nearly your complete recreation. They nonetheless stuffed the Baltimore dashing assault. However can they cope with the physicality of the New England offensive line? Sony Michel might be in line for an enormous recreation.
*On the other aspect, Chargers operating back Melvin Gordon is coping with two sprained knees. He’s the inspiration of the Los Angeles offense. If he’s ineffective, Philip Rivers might want to shoulder the load.
*How will the Patriots deploy All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore? The apparent selection is to stay him on Keenan Allen, who was referred to as “nearly as good as any receiver in the NFL” by Invoice Belichick.
This leaves rookie J.C. Jackson on the 6-foot-4 Mike Williams. As well as Jackson has performed, that’s a matchup the Chargers might goal.
*Over the past decade, just one NFL workforce — the 2015 Rams — allowed more receiving yards to operating backs than the 2018 Chargers (973). That is a simple option to negate the move rush of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. But as the Chargers use extra defensive backs throughout the brief center of the sector, the Pats might not have such an apparent edge throwing the ball to James White and Rex Burkhead.
Maintain it right here for updates before kickoff…