Most fans can agree that the New England Patriots have not been at their best this season. Tom Brady has not been the statistical beast that he usually is and has struggled at times to get the offence on track.
Defensively, they seem to always have to work their way into becoming a good unit. They were not good early on but have progressed throughout the season. They still are not great against the pass, but they aren’t bad against the run.
Against the Chargers, they are going to see more passing from Philip Rivers than running from Melvin Gordon. Gordon has been dealing with knee injuries, and the team will likely try to protect him when they can.
Despite the struggles they have had, the Patriots offence—statistically – is one of the best in the league. They were fourth in points during the regular season, eighth in passing yards, and fifth in rushing yards.
They will be facing a Chargers defence that is one of the better all-around units in the league. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram will do all they can to make sure Tom Brady doesn’t have all day to throw.
So—who’s going to win?
It is hard to go against the Patriots, but the Chargers have the kind of pass rush that can disrupt Brady. They should be able to keep the Patriots offence from getting on track too early. Philip Rivers has what it takes to beat the Patriots; he has to avoid making any critical mistakes.
Take the Chargers to win, straight up and against the spread. As for the over/under—take the over.