MusketFire: New England Patriots at San Diego Chargers: Game Preview

New England Patriots at San Diego Chargers: Game Preview

The New England Patriots spent the week in the warm weather of Southern California not on a vacation but on a business trip. At 8:30pm Eastern time tonight the Patriots get to take care of business at Qualcomm Stadium for the first time since a disappointing 26-21 loss at Lambeau Field against the Packers last week. After breakdowns on offense (punting on consecutive drives in the first and third quarter, not able to score with a first down at the twenty-yard line late in the fourth quarter) and defense (allowing Green Bay to convert ten of 17 third-downs and hold the ball for over 36 minutes of possession), the Patriots need to increase their efficiency on both sides of the ball.

The San Diego Chargers, however, are not a pushover like some of the teams New England has defeated this season. At 8-4, the Chargers have an explosive offense loaded with big-play potential and a deep defense led by two Pro Bowl level defenders in the secondary. The Chargers have suffered from injuries on both sides of the ball losing a number of key contributors. Their depth and the outstanding performance of quarterback Philip Rivers has allowed the Chargers to keep pace with the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs in a competitive AFC West...