3 Reasons Why The New England Patriots will beat the Chargers
Of the four divisional games this weekend Vegas has this one as the small spread with the New England Patriots being favored by 4.5 points at home against the Los Angeles Chargers. Should this game even be close? Will the Patriots make it to the AFC Championship game this season? I believe they will and there are three reasons why I believe the New England Patriots will beat the Chargers. Rivers record against the Patriots in New England, Tom Brady and the history of the Patriots in the playoffs in the Brady/Belichick era and finally the home advantage that comes with New England. We’ll begin by looking at how Philip Rivers has fared in New England.
Philip Rivers in New England
Philip Rivers became the quarterback of the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers at the start of the 2006 season and he has faced the Patriots in New England multiple times and has yet to come away with a win in any of those games. His first game in New England came on September 16th 2007 in which they Chargers lost 14-38 in that game the Chargers had 149 yards passing.
His second chance came on January 20th of 2008 in which the Chargers lost 12-21 and they have 207 passing yards. His third opportunity came on September 18th of 2011 in which the Chargers lost 21-35 and they had 372 passing yards. His most recent trip to New England was on October 29th of 2017 in which the Chargers lost 13-21 and they had 192 passing yards. In those games the Chargers have been outscored 60 points to 115 or roughly 15 to 29. Rivers has also only had one huge statistical game in those games as well in which he threw for over 300 yards the rest have all been around 200. I look for that to continue this weekend. How have the Patriots fared in the playoffs in the Belichick/Brady era? We’ll examine that next.
Patriots in the playoffs in the Belichick/Brady Era
With Bill Belichick as head coach and Tom Brady as the starting quarterback the Patriots have won five Super Bowls and eight AFC Championships. The Patriots have also made it to at least the AFC Championship game in eight consecutive seasons. In 2011 they lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, in 2012 they lost the AFC Championship game to the Baltimore Ravens, in 2013 they lost to the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship game, in 2014 they beat the Seattle Seahawks to win the Super Bowl, in 2015 they lost to the Denver Broncos in the AFC championship game, in 2016 they beat the Atlanta Falcons to win the Super Bowl and in 2017 they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl. The Patriots have been the best and most consistent team in the AFC in the Belichick/Brady era. They also have home field advantage in this game, but what does that mean?
Patriots at home
The New England Patriots are 8-0 this season at home with wins coming against the Texans, Dolphins, Colts, Chiefs, Packers, Vikings, Bills and Jets. They have outscored their opponents 263 to 133 or roughly 33 to 17 in those games. Not only are they undefeated at home, but they are beating opponents on average by over two touchdowns at home. The Patriots also have not lost a playoff game at home since the 2013 season. To put it lightly they are a dominating team at home and in the playoffs. I also look for that to be key in this game.
Philip Rivers has never won in New England, the New England Patriots have made it to at least the AFC Championship game in eight consecutive seasons and they have not lost at home this season or in the playoffs at home since the 2013 season. However could Rivers get the upset win?