NFL Sunday Preview: Patriots at Chargers

NFL Dec 06, 2020

The New England Patriots will take on the Los Angeles Chargers in a game between two inter-conference teams.  

The last time the Patriots played the Chargers, they won by a 41-28 margin in the AFC divisional game of January 2019.

Patriots top Cardinals

In their last time out, the Patriots were able to defeat the Arizona Cardinals by a 20-17 score.  Although Cam Newton struggled on the afternoon, the running game was able to help him carry the load.  Damien Harris led New England in terms of rushing yards with 14 carries for 47 yards.  Nevertheless, it was James White who managed to make an impact on the day, scoring two touchdowns.

All was not lost in the passing game however, as Jakobi Meyers caught five passes for 52 yards.  Cam Newton may have had trouble passing the football, but he did just enough to manage the game and get the job done.

Chargers fall short to Buffalo Bills

In their last game, the Los Angeles Chargers were defeated by the Buffalo Bills, 27-17.  Rookie sensation Justin Herbert went 31/52 on the afternoon, throwing for 316 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.

In terms of the ground game, Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley managed to pace the Chargers in that respect.  Ekeler rushed the ball 14 times for 44 yards, while Kelley rushed the ball seven times for 35 yards and a touchdown.  Keenan Allen also scored a touchdown to his credit, as it was part of a four-catch, 40-yard day.

Los Angeles wins this game if….

Los Angeles wins this game if they are able to stop the running game.  Cam Newton did not have a big game last Sunday, throwing for only 84 yards and two interceptions.  The Patriots have relied on their running backs a lot this season and stopping that group will make life easier for the Chargers to hold a potential lead.

New England wins this game if….

New England wins this game if they can stop Herbert.  He is able to advance the ball with his legs and throw deep passes with ease, and the Patriots secondary has struggled a bit this season against big plays.  If New England can force him to make throws with defenders in his face and take away one side of the field, they have a better chance of winning this football game.

Betting predictions

The Chargers are the favourites to win this game at -1.5.  As for picking a side, I feel comfortable betting the dog.

Los Angeles gives up 120.5 rushing yards per game, and that will play right into New England’s hands.  Even though I don’t expect Newton to be in top form on Sunday, as his struggles seem to be more than just a bump in the road, his team will pick up the slack.  As a result, New England wins straight up, with the running game securing their victory.


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