The New England Patriots are not accustomed to consecutive losses. Since the beginning of 2010, the Patriots have only dropped two straight twice. After losing 26-21 to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field last Sunday, New England aims to regroup with a key matchup against the high-flying San Diego Chargers on Sunday Night Football.
Since beginning the campaign 2-2, the Patriots have been the best team in the AFC with a 7-1 mark. Tom Brady has been his usual prolific self, throwing for 3,243 yards and 28 touchdowns against only six interceptions. Brady's numbers are all the more Madden-esque when you realize New England has struggled to find a consistent ground attack, ranking 16th in yards per game. The receiving targets have improved by the week, led by Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski has 910 yards and nine scores while slot receiver Julian Edelman is pacing the Patriots with 77 receptions.
San Diego is 8-4 and only a game out of first place in the AFC West after three consecutive wins. The Chargers pulled out a last-second comeback over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, escaping with a 34-33 road win. Not stunningly, San Diego relies heavily on Philip Rivers and his playmakers to shoulder the load. Rivers has thrown five touchdowns and two picks over the Chargers' recent win streak, finding Keenan Allen for three scores.
This is a massive game for San Diego, which currently sits fifth in the AFC playoff picture. Despite the seeding, the Chargers face the Broncos, 49ers and Chiefs down the stretch with a bevy of teams at 7-5 breathing down their necks. A win over the Patriots would go a long way toward securing a playoff berth.
How to Watch
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
When: 8:25 p.m. ET
Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth
For more on the Patriots, check out Pats Pulpit.
To keep up on the Chargers, head over to Bolts From The Blue.