Let’s face it, Monday night against the Dolphins was downright awesome. As a Pats fan, Monday night was like watching a video game, as the Pats went up and down the field against the Fins in a 38-24 win.
Tom Brady helped the Pats pile up a team-record 622 total yards, as the Pats looked like a well-oiled machine. Now they turn their attention to the Chargers, a team that comes to town after an opening day win over the Vikings.
Brady became the 11th player in NFL history to throw for 500 or more yards in a game with a career-high 517 – fifth-most all-time – and four touchdowns. That included a 99-yard touchdown to Wes Welker, who finished with eight catches for 160 yards and two scores. It won’t be that easy against the Chargers Sunday.
The Chargers D allowed the fewest yards in the NFL last weekend, this against a Vikings offense that boasts Adrian Peterson.
The game plan for the Chargers will be to do two things – pressure Brady, and try to run the ball to keep the Pats high-powered offense off the field. If they can do that, it could be an interesting night in Foxboro.
The Pats coaches know they can’t live off last week against the Fins. “Really, whatever happened (Monday) night, it really doesn’t matter as it relates to San Diego,” Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien said. “Every week in this league is a different week. (San Diego has) an aggressive defense. They’ve got a lot of good players at every position.”
That’s true, and it will be up to O’Brien and the Pats coaches to game plan for the aggressive Chargers. San Diego is going to blitz, and when they do, the Pats have to be ready with Brady finishing plays and making quick hits to his WR’s and TE’s.
On defense, the Pats can’t fall asleep at the wheel against the Chargers offense, which starts and ends with QB Philip Rivers. Last week Rivers was 33 of 48 for 335 yards with two TDs and two interceptions while helping the Chargers overcome a 17-7 halftime deficit.
San Diego will look to find a way to run the ball with Mike Tolbert and Ryan Mathews. Last week against Minnesota, Tolbert had 35 rushing, 58 through the air, and three scores. Mathews had 45 yards rushing.
This will be a very back and forth affair, but the Pats have the better offense, and early in the season, it will be that offense that puts up a lot of points against the Chargers.
Look for a shootout, and for the Pats to come out on top to be 2-0. Patriots 34 Chargers 23