Chargers vs Patriots: Why Shouldn't the Chargers Bring It?

Ian PhilipAnalyst IIIJanuary 20, 2008

• The Patriots can’t be beat.

• The Chargers offense is too inconsistent.

Tom Brady can’t be intercepted.

• The Chargers don’t have the talent.

• The Patriots will run the ball down the Chargers’ collective throats.

• The Chargers are too immature to win a game against the Patriots.

• This should be a repeat of the Week Two 38-14 domination.

What I am not hearing is why?

The Patriots can’t be beat? The Ravens pretty much beat the Patriots. The Ravens had the Patriots stopped on fourth down, the game was over. Ravens win! Nope! Rex Ryan called a timeout that was awarded AFTER the Patriots were stopped. Then a couple of questionable calls helped the Patriots get the win.

The Chargers offense is too inconsistent? That assessment is a couple of months too late. Since the Chargers started going on the attack on offense (this started in the second half against the Jaguars), they have averaged 28.5 points per game. They would have scored more if they decided to run up the score, but they flat-out don’t do that.

Tom Brady can’t be intercepted? That’s ridiculous. The Chargers have intercepted Tom Brady five times in their last three games against him, and that was without the Crime Time defense they bring to the table today. Whether Brady makes a mistake or the receivers do, no one is perfect. The Chargers seemingly grab every overthrown or tipped ball.

The Chargers don’t have the talent? Ask the Colts about that. Against the Colts, the Chargers kept coming at them in waves. One guy went down, another guy steps in and makes a play. Norv Turner has prepared this team for injuries and to move the ball against top defenses. This was his top priority when he came in. That was the first thing he said. The Chargers offense dominated bad defenses, but struggled against top squads.

The Patriots will run the ball? Running the ball against the Chargers is easier said than done. No pass happy team has beaten the Chargers in their last 14 games. A solid running game is how you can neutralize the Chargers pass rush—and their interceptions. So we’ll see. I haven’t seen enough of Lawrence Maroney to know whether he’ll be successful or not.

The Chargers are too immature? Their on-field antics and their interviews after the games have shown they are too immature to win a championship game—according to a certain "great" receiver. Please. This guy never won anything while Michael Irvin won three Super Bowls.

On the field antics (celebrating big plays) and after-game interviews don’t mean anything. The only thing that matters is poise during the game. The Chargers have shown a little bit of poise in the first two games, but we’ll see about the AFC Championship Game against their most hated rival.

A repeat of the Week Two 38-14 domination? It is hard to beat a team twice in one season. One example and I’ll let this go. Way back in 2003, the Buffalo Bills crushed the Patriots 31–0 in the first game of the season. In the last game of that season, the Patriots hammered the Bills 31–0. The Patriots beat the Chargers in Week Two, it is now Week 20.

The Chargers have a tough game ahead of them. They may show up and get smoked. They may come out and make the plays that they have been making for the last two months and compete.

Norv Turner has been preparing this team to win in the playoffs on offense all season long. The offensive struggles were extremely frustrating at times this season, but now they have a plug and play system. Go back to the Colts game, and look at that Darren Sproles 56-yard screen play. That was a play designed for LaDainian Tomlinson. Turner also has a package for different players that he can use at anytime.

I just can’t wait to see this one.