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Chargers To Defeat Patriots In New England

January 11, 2019

The Los Angeles Chargers will aim to knock off the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium for the first time with Philip Rivers at quarterback in the AFC Divisional Round.

Los Angeles proved their Super Bowl credentials with another fine performance on the road to defeat the Baltimore Ravens last week. The Chargers limited the running ability of Lamar Jackson, while Rivers and the offense did just enough to put points on the board.

Mike Badgley’s boot in the first half was crucial before Melvin Gordon put the game away with a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Baltimore almost made a late comeback, but Anthony Lynn’s men held out for the victory.

The Chargers were impressive in their win, although they will need to take their game to the next level in New England. Under Bill Belichick and with Tom Brady at quarterback, the Patriots are 27-10 in the post-season, losing only three matches at home – the last of which came in the 2012 season.

Belichick’s men have not been the dominant force they’ve been in the past, although their 11-5 record was still good enough for a bye. With Brady on the field they’re still a dangerous outfit and it will take something special to stop them.

The Chargers will advance to the AFC Championship Game

New England Patriots

The Patriots are one win away from reaching the AFC Championship Game for the eighth year on the bounce. Their record in the post-season is incredible and they have a great opportunity to reach the Super Bowl for the third-straight year. Brady remains one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL even at the age of 41. His play has not quite been of the standard of his past three terms, taking a slight step back from the form that saw him crowned MVP in the 2017 campaign. Rob Gronkowski has also displayed a decline in his levels of play on the field, being far removed from the potent weapon he has been during his time in the NFL. Without their two superstars operating at the peak of their powers, New England’s record suffered slightly, failing to win 12 games for the first time since 2009.

However, due to the playoff seeding system, they secured a bye over the Chargers, who did boast a superior record over the course of the campaign. New England dropped five games – all of which came on the road. Their home form has been their saving grace and Los Angeles will have to play flawless football for 60 minutes to even think about beating Belichick’s men. The Patriots’ defense has been impressive on home soil, while in the second half of the season their only slip up came against the Miami Dolphins. Their secondary has the ability to shut down Rivers and company, although their rush defense has been average. It will be a close game, but no team has been better in tight situations arguably in the history of the NFL than New England.

Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers proved the toughness of their team with a gritty win over the Ravens. In their clash in the regular season they failed to match Baltimore in the trenches. However, at M&T Bank Stadium they were able to reverse the trend, stifling Jackson in the pocket and forcing him to throw downfield. Los Angeles were able to play the contest on their terms and were able to see out the victory, albeit a touch of late drama. Los Angeles cannot afford to let the Patriots hang about in a similar manner and will have to be clinical in all phases to defeat Brady and company.

Rivers is 0-7 in his career against the 41-year-old, including two defeats in the post-season. He had a poor end to the regular season, throwing six interceptions in the final three games of the term. Rivers cannot afford to make a single error against New England, putting pressure on his throws downfield. Gordon has had a knee problem for the past month, which could be crucial. If he cannot ease the burden on his quarterback, it may force the Chargers to become one dimensional. That will play right into the hands of Belichick and his defense.

Los Angeles’ defense was outstanding with their discipline last week. They played Jackson and the Ravens’ running game to perfection. Lynn’s men will require a different approach against the Patriots, putting the onus on Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram to get to Brady in the pocket. Their secondary needs to keep Julian Edelman and Gronkowski at bay. Only then will they have a chance of advancing to the AFC Championship Game.

Head to Head

Games Played: 41 New England Patriots: 24 Los Angeles Chargers: 15 Tied: 2

The Patriots have won the last four meetings between the two sides. Los Angeles’ last victory over New England came in the 2008 season when Brady was sidelined due to injury as Matt Cassel struggled in the matchup in relief. Belichick’s men edged out the Chargers last season at Gillette Stadium, securing a 21-13 victory. A touchdown run from Gordon put the visitors ahead, but the Patriots responded and were able to pull away to record a comfortable victory.

New England famously defeated Rivers the Chargers’ potent 2006 team in the Divisional Round 12 years ago. Ladainian Tomlinson was the NFL MVP, but and his team-mates fell to a 24-21 defeat to Belichick’s men. Revenge evaded them in the 2007 campaign, failing to knock off the 17-0 Patriots in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Rivers played on a torn ACL in the match, but New England secured a 21-12 triumph.

Match Betting Options

The Chargers are the form team heading into the fixture, although history is on the side of the Patriots. The mystique of Foxborough with Brady and Belichick is a tough one to overcome. However, Los Angeles have similar traits to teams that have succeeded in the past. They have a quarterback capable of making throws under pressure, while their defense can hold the Patriots to under 20 points. Brady and his offense have not quite been at their best this term.

The Chargers will be able to pull off the feat to advance to the AFC Championship Game at odds of +170  with TopBet. Los Angeles are a solid bet on +2 handicap at 888Sport at odds of 7/5 , while take the under on 47.5 points to be scored at -105  with BetOnline. There could be a defensive or specials teams score from either team therefore take the bet at +180  with TopBet.

Player Betting Options

The Patriots will be keyed in to stop Gordon on the ground, although Rivers has connected well with Mike Williams in the endzone. Take the wideout to score anytime at odds of 9/4  with Betway. Keenan Allen could be a dark horse to lead the Divisional Round in receiving yards, at +1000  with BetOnline, it’s worth it for value.

Rex Burkhead notched a score in the Patriots’ final regular season game. Running backs were a crucial part of their win over the Chargers last season, back him at odds of 13/5  to score anytime on Sunday with Betway. The Patriots have played their best when running the ball this term. Sony Michel may be an outside candidate at +700  to lead the Divisional Round at BetOnline.

Tips Summary

Los Angeles Chargers To Beat New England Patriots
Sunday 13th January 2019 13:05 ET (18:05 GMT)
Odds: +170

Los Angeles Chargers +2 Spread
Sunday 13th January 2019 13:05 ET (18:05 GMT)
Odds: 7/5

Under 47.5 Total Points To Be Scored
Sunday 13th January 2019 13:05 ET (18:05 GMT)
Odds: -105

Defensive Or Special Teams Touchdown To Be Scored
Sunday 13th January 2019 13:05 ET (18:05 GMT)
Odds: +180

Rex Burkhead To Score Touchdown Anytime
Sunday 13th January 2019 13:05 ET (18:05 GMT)
Odds: 13/5

Mike Williams To Score Touchdown Anytime
Sunday 13th January 2019 13:05 ET (18:05 GMT)
Odds: 9/4

Keenan Allen To Lead Wildcard Round In Receiving Yards
Sunday 13th January 2019 13:05 ET (18:05 GMT)
Odds: +1000

Sony Michel To Lead Divisional Round In Rushing Yards
Sunday 13th January 2019 13:05 ET (18:05 GMT)
Odds: +700

  • Los Angeles Chargers
  • New England Patriots
  • NFL
  • Philip Rivers
  • Tom Brady

    About the author

    Simon Sinclair
    Simon Sinclair

    Sports Writer

    Simon is a freelance sports writer from the UK. He passionately writes about all kinds of sports, sharing his predictions on everything from the latest cricket matches and golf tournaments to major horse racing events and popular American sports.