WEEK 13 • SUN 12/06 • 4:25 PM EST - New England Patriots AT Los Angeles Chargers

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The New England Patriots will attempt to get back to .500 this week when they begin a two-game stint in Los Angeles and a three-game road trip overall. After facing the Chargers on Sunday, the Patriots will stay on the West Coast to prepare for a Thursday Night Football game against the Rams. The Patriots will then play their final regular season road game at Miami in Week 15 before returning home for the final two weeks of the season.

SCOUTING THE MATCHUPS​

By Paul Perillo
When the Patriots run - Edge: Patriots
After several weeks of solid production on the ground the Patriots have been held in check by suspect defenses the last two weeks. Damien Harris remains the lead dog but for the second straight game he failed to reach the 50-yard mark, this time against a banged up Arizona front. Teams are stacking the box and forcing the Patriots to adjust, and other than a few occasional quick hitters toward the edges they have not been able to do so consistently over the last two weeks. Harris & Co. will get another chance to test a weak run defense in Los Angeles as the Chargers allow more than 120 yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry, the latter number ranking 30th in the league. The Chargers have veteran run stuffer Linval Joseph up front next to Justin Jones and Jerry Tillery in front of linebackers Denzel Perryman, Kenneth Murray and Uchenna Nwosu. That group has been banged up at times (Nwosu missed Sunday's game against the Bills) and struggles to keep good rushing attacks in check. They'll likely get a lot of work on Sunday against Harris, and perhaps Sony Michel, who did not get any carries in his first game back off IR. That duo will be operating behind an offensive line that will be without Isaiah Wynn for the second straight game as Jermaine Eluemunor and Justin Herron will continue to take his place.

When the Patriots pass - Edge: Chargers
Cam Newton is struggling to find any consistency in the passing game, and he's coming off one of the worst games of his career. He's been having trouble finding open receivers and dealing with the pass rush. With Julian Edelman out of the lineup, Newton has relied solely on Damiere Byrd and Jakobi Meyers, and that tandem struggled to create separation against the Cardinals. The Chargers secondary has performed well this season, ranking 10th in the league allowing 222.5 yards per game. Corners Chris Harris and Casey Hayward are solid while safeties Nassir Adderley, RayShawn Jenkins and Jahleel Addae are a capable group as well. Hayward missed last week's game against the Bills and was replaced by Michael Davis. The Chargers have been without standout safety Derwin James all season due to a knee injury. The Chargers should be able to contain the Patriots limited passing attack, especially if Joey Bosa can generate some pressure up front. He leads the team with 7.5 sacks on the season and can be a disruptive force off the edge. Unless Newton can find his rhythm, the Patriots will struggled to move it through the air in LA.

When the Chargers run - Edge: Patriots
Los Angeles struggled to run the ball with Austin Ekeler injured for most of the season. He returned last week after sitting out seven games with a leg injury, but in his absence the Chargers couldn't get anything going on the ground. Joshua Kelly and Kalen Ballage tried to fill the void but neither averaged better than 3.7 yards per carry. The Chargers rank 13th in the league with an average of 117 yards per game, but 29th with a 3.8-yards per carry average. Ekeler is a dual-threat runner and should give the Chargers more balance, but the Patriots have been tougher against the run as of late. The Cardinals game marked the fourth straight week the run defense was stout as Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler and Ja'Whaun Bentley have improved over that stretch. The Chargers will likely give Ekeler some opportunities but the Patriots have contained better rushing attacks than this in recent weeks, and that should continue in LA.

When the Chargers pass - Edge: Chargers
Rookie Justin Herbert has been outstanding since replacing the injured Tyrod Taylor in Week 2. He's tossed 23 touchdowns against only seven picks while completing better than 66 percent of his passes. He's also passed for more than 3,000 yards and is the main reason the Chargers currently own the second-best passing attack in football. His main target is the underrated Keenan Allen, who leads the team with 85 catches for 875 yards and seven touchdowns. Allen isn't the flashiest receiver but his possession game between the numbers may be the best in the league. He'll require some extra attention from a Patriots secondary that has been rather uneven all season. Stephon Gilmore was solid against DeAndre Hopkins last week, but that was largely due to the pressure created up front that made Kyler Murray uncomfortable throughout. Herbert has seen his share of pressure as well, and he's also been forced to throw the ball into some tight windows. Mike Williams and tight end Hunter Henry also receive plenty of targets while Ekeler is a solid threat out of the backfield as well. The Chargers have moved the ball and put points on the board in most of their games this season, and the Patriots secondary will be tested in this one.

Special Teams - Edge: Patriots
Nick Folk continues to be a godsend for the Patriots. He connected on his second game-winner of the season, this one a 50-yarder as time expired to beat the Cardinals. He has now hit 19 straight field goals on the season. Where would the Patriots offense be without that production? He was not alone against Arizona, however. Donte' Moncrief (53-yard kickoff return) and Gunner Olszewski (58-yard punt return) turned in huge plays that led to points in a game where offense was tough to come by for New England. The Chargers have been solid in the kicking game as well with Michael Badgley. Badgley hasn't been quite as good as Folk but has missed just three of 29 PATs and five of 22 field goals, with the shortest miss coming from 47 yards so he's been almost automatic on routine kicks. K.J. Hill and Joe Reed have handled both kicks and punts for the Chargers this season and each has had some success. Hill has a 30-yard punt return to his credit while Reed took a kick back 46 yards earlier in the season. The Chargers coverage units have been a little leaky at times, however, and the Patriots momentum on special teams earns the visitors the edge.

BROADCAST INFORMATION​

TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast by CBS and can be seen locally on WBZ-TV Channel 4. Kevin Harlan will handle play-by-play duties with Trent Green as the color analyst. Melanie Collins will work from the sidelines. The game will be produced by Ken Mack and directed by Suzanne Smith.
SATELLITE RADIO:
Coming soon!
LOCAL RADIO: 98.5 The Sports Hub is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 38 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis. The games are produced by Marc Cappello.
 

chevss454

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This is BB talking about the the 3-8 Chargers. It belongs in the Week 13 - Chargers thread but it's not up yet and every time I put up a game week thread we lose so...here is BB's
gracious analysis of wishful & wistful thinking for the Chargers players he's coaching against.
There can be little doubt after reading this that BB will make a play for TE Hunter Henry in FA this off season. Maybe a couple of others, too.
He also talks about the Chargers being well coached. LOL.

EoQzYsTXcAI6RA9
 

Inspector_50

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This is BB talking about the the 3-8 Chargers. It belongs in the Week 13 - Chargers thread but it's not up yet and every time I put up a game week thread we lose so...here is BB's
gracious analysis of wishful & wistful thinking for the Chargers players he's coaching against.
There can be little doubt after reading this that BB will make a play for TE Hunter Henry in FA this off season. Maybe a couple of others, too.
He also talks about the Chargers being well coached. LOL.

EoQzYsTXcAI6RA9
Yeah if you are a team and feeling bad about yourself, go listen to Belichick talk about you the week before you play the Patriots. You will come out of it feeling better about yourself. If you have
even 1 small good quality, BB will find it. lol
 

SkiptoMyLou

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This is a game Pats should win, which most likely means they'll lose. Then when we lost all hope they'll go out and dominate the Rams...
 

Inspector_50

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This is a game Pats should win, which most likely means they'll lose. Then when we lost all hope they'll go out and dominate the Rams...
Exactly, I have the pats winning pretty easy, which means good luck! In all seriousness they should be able to move the ball against the chargers but might struggle a bit on defense because of just basically the unknown of not playing them in the recent past or that QB. I see the opposite in the Rams game. The Rams defense is really good, but the Rams QB is very suspect and can actually lose you a game and BB knows how to beat that offense. To beat the Rams they will have to do what other teams that beat the rams did and make them turn the ball over. Just beating them with your offense against that Defense is not going to happen.
 

PatriotInIndy

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This one is going to have to be a DVR special for me. Michigan hoops plays UCF at 4, so the games are going to overlap. Either DVR or watching the Pats on a laptop and I prefer to watch the Pats on the big screen. Not going to drag a second TV out with all the Christmas decorations up.
 

chevss454

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This is a game Pats should win, which most likely means they'll lose. Then when we lost all hope they'll go out and dominate the Rams...

Exactly, I have the pats winning pretty easy, which means good luck! In all seriousness they should be able to move the ball against the chargers but might struggle a bit on defense because of just basically the unknown of not playing them in the recent past or that QB. I see the opposite in the Rams game. The Rams defense is really good, but the Rams QB is very suspect and can actually lose you a game and BB knows how to beat that offense. To beat the Rams they will have to do what other teams that beat the rams did and make them turn the ball over. Just beating them with your offense against that Defense is not going to happen.

The Chargers are favored by 1 point.
 

foobahl

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The Pats are a couple of plays away from being the Chargers. They are also a couple of plays away from being the Bucs. They appear to be favored due to LAC getting the homefield 3. There are no fans or few fans though. I don't know the LA rules.
 

Mazz22

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This is a terrible match up for us on both sides of the ball. That being said Lynn is pretty clueless so if Bill is on his A game I think we win just based on the Chargers beating themselves. But I'll take it.
 

OSUBuckeye

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This is a terrible match up for us on both sides of the ball. That being said Lynn is pretty clueless so if Bill is on his A game I think we win just based on the Chargers beating themselves. But I'll take it.
I think Lynn might be coaching for his job the rest of the way this year. I don’t think he makes another year
 

Mazz22

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I think Lynn might be coaching for his job the rest of the way this year. I don’t think he makes another year
I heard rumors that McDaniels might be in consideration for the job. Apparently he and the GM were college teammates.
That would be a great spot for him with all that talent and the young, stud QB.
 

foobahl

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I heard rumors that McDaniels might be in consideration for the job. Apparently he and the GM were college teammates.
That would be a great spot for him with all that talent and the young, stud QB.
I agree, c ya. Name any other team not including the Pats and I will also agree.
 

Mazz22

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I agree, c ya. Name any other team not including the Pats and I will also agree.
Me too. I really don't want him as our next HC.
 

OSUBuckeye

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I heard rumors that McDaniels might be in consideration for the job. Apparently he and the GM were college teammates.
That would be a great spot for him with all that talent and the young, stud QB.
Tom Telesco, Nick Casserio & McDaniels all went to John Carroll University
 

SkiptoMyLou

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Would a team trust McDaniels after what he pulled on the Colts, though?
 

Mazz22

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I don’t think his phone was ringing much last year with all the openings. Who knows?
Will be tough for him this year with how poorly the Pats offense has performed. We are running a 60s style offense. That won't help him get a HC gig. But you never know ...
 

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Cam has been limited yesterday and today with an abdomen injury. He expects to play Sunday. I wonder if that happened on that huge hit at the end of the game that drew the 15 yard personal foul.
 

aloyouis

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This one is going to have to be a DVR special for me. Michigan hoops plays UCF at 4, so the games are going to overlap. Either DVR or watching the Pats on a laptop and I prefer to watch the Pats on the big screen. Not going to drag a second TV out with all the Christmas decorations up.
Go GREEN!!!

Sorry, State fan here. My daughter is a Sparty.
 
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