NFL Preview: Chargers On The Charge6 min read
Chargers @ Patriots
New England are just always in the playoffs, they pretty much always get the bye and more often than not they’ll be in the AFC championship game. But despite being the number two seed this time round I think that they have been helped by the transition period going on in their division.
This is not the Patriots we are used to seeing. Sure they have been winning games but for the first time in a long time they don’t immediately spring to mind when looking at potential Super Bowl bound teams. They look like a team that has been together a while, they looked a little old and a little tired after the regular season.
Normally they kick it up another gear in December and into the playoffs. But this time around they have been poor. The threat of Gronkowski is there but is no longer the daunting task as before. I can’t see any of the remaining teams fearing playing the Patriots. This is the team who have made 8 Superbowls in 17 years, winning five.
It is the age of the new look quarterback who can run, throw the deep bombs and play all the trick plays dominating. The irony is that I think it will be a loss here to 37 Phillip Rivers, who is very much of Brady’s era, that will bring an end to the dynasty in New England.
The Chargers are in a bit of an under appreciated situation, second in their division because they lost out to the number one seed in the AFC by a game, not the most talked about team in LA because of the Rams glamour signings. They have gone about their business and are well and truly in the hunt for the title this year.
They have one of the best rosters in the entire league. Much is made about how Rivers has to win a ring to be taken seriously, it doesn’t help he was in the same draft class as Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning who both have two Super Bowl rings. But he can shock the world by ending the dominant force that has been Brady and Belichick.
Keenan Allen to score a touchdown
Mike Williams to score a touchdown
Chargers to score every quarter
Eagles @ Saints
The defending champions will remember the last game against New Orleans, they were crushed 48-7 in a show of no mercy from Drew Brees and co. I have stated that the Saints have one of the most fearsome rosters and this match resonated around the league to show it was for real.
I don’t know if I can see another humiliation this weekend but one thing I do know is that this is a very different Eagles team. Injuries have ravaged them but they have used this to turn their season around to make the playoffs by the skin of their teeth. They then put in an incredible performance to dispose of the Bears last week. They made the number one scoring defence look very ordinary.
But even with the improvement in their form I don’t see the Foles magic being able to overcome the Superdome voodoo. The Saints have not lost a home playoff game since 2006, this was before Sean Payton took over.
The Saints had the best record in football and not much should be made of their last game when they were rolled over by a dismal Buccaneers side as they rested a lot of their key men as they had already secured home advantage for all of the playoff.
I’m not expecting a crushing defeat but I do expect the Saints to ease through in this one and as I said at the start of the season I expect them to be in Atlanta in February and hoist the Lombardi trophy, so I think they will want to put a marker down once again against the defending champs.
Nelson Agholor to score a touchdown
Saint to score every quarter
Alvin Kamara to score the first touchdown