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Chargers Ready for Revenge Against Patriots

LaDainian Tomlinson after Playoff loss to Patriots
Sunday night’s game between the San Diego Chargers and the New England Patriots is not only a playoff rematch it is a possible AFC championship game preview. The last time these two teams played was in the divisional round of the playoffs and the Patriots came out on top 24-21. The San Diego players, most notably RB LaDainian Tomlinson, were very unhappy about the way the Patriots disrespectfully celebrated on their home turf. After the game Tomlinson told the media, “They showed no class and maybe that comes from the head coach.”

It looks like LT might have hit the nail right on the head about New England head coach Bill Belichick not having any class. Belichick has been found guilty by the NFL of violating rules by videotaping defensive signals of Jets coaches last weekend.

The Chargers are definitely going to have to play better offensively this weekend than they did last. Tomlinson only managed to gain 25 yards on 17 carries. Look for the Patriots to mimic the Bears by loading the box with defenders to stop the run. That could bode well for QB Philip Rivers as the Patriots’ efforts to stop the run could leave them open against the pass. New England is shorthanded in the secondary with former Charger S Rodney Harrison suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. New England DE Richard Seymour is also out because of injury.

The Chargers defense will certainly be tested against the Patriots. Many experts say the Charger secondary is their weak link, but it looks like they have improved and they should be able to contain QB Tom Brady and WR Randy Moss. Brady is just 2-2 with a passer rating of 78.4 against the Chargers. Look for the Chargers to come at the Patriots with a variety of different blitz packages obviously involving Merriman and LB Shaun Philips. S Eric Weddle looked great blitzing off the edge last week so I would expect more of the same this weekend.

WR Eric Parker obviously will not play, DE Luis Castillo and LB Stephen Cooper did not practice but are probable. TE Antonio Gates, LB Shawne Merriman and FB Andrew Pinnock are also probable.

No matter how this thing turns out it is sure to be one of the better games in the early part of the season. GO BOLTS!!!!


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