The Patriots kickoff their postseason run Sunday at 1:05 P.M. at Gillette Stadium against the Los Angeles Chargers. This is not the first time Brady has matched up against a fellow future Hall of Fame quarterback in Phillip Rivers, but this time is different. The Chargers are the #5 seed but actually had a better record than the Patriots, they have a good run game, a good defense, and Rivers is having one of the best years of his career. We will see what Brady and Belichick have in store as they host this warm weather team on a cold Sunday afternoon
Here are 3 stats to look for in this divisional round matchup:
Tom Brady is 19-3 at home in the postseason and 27-10 overall. He has 16 division titles, 71 playoff TD passes, 10,226 playoff passing yards. These are all records. Has he had a great year so far? Well up to his standards he would say he needs to be better. Does the regular season matter anymore? The answer to that is an astounding and obvious no. It’s time to “put all that crap in the drawer” as he memorably said before Super Bowl LI against the Falcons. They have a tough task ahead of them, and if anybody is ready to conquer the task at hand on a quest for a sixth Super bowl ring, it’s Tom Brady.
158.7 yards per game
The Chargers used 7 defensive backs on 58 of 59 plays on defense in their win in Baltimore last week. But since the Patriots bye week, they have 158.7 rushing yards per game, which is 3rd in the NFL since then according to NFL Network. This could expose the Chargers run defense up the middle and allow Michel and the rest of the run game, including Develin and maybe even Patterson to run up the gut for success.
Philip Rivers commutes from San Diego to Los Angeles to make it easier on his family. Brady used to fly home to San Mateo mid week during the season to see his family more as well, but the family man realized that was too much for him, and it would take too much out of him, so he stopped doing that. The Chargers may be undefeated outside of Los Angeles this year, but this will be their fourth road game in five weeks, and second cross country trip in as many weeks. Phillip Rivers is 0-7 against Tom Brady, and when the lights shine brightest and the conditions are the toughest, Brady is even scarier. We will see if all of those two hour commutes were worth it for Rivers.
One thing we know about the Patriots is they are known for very unpredictable game plans so Anthony Lynn has a lot on his plate. Kickoff is at 1:05 P.M. on CBS and 98.5 The Sports Hub.
-Johnny Maffei is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media and covers the New England Patriots. Follow him on Twitter @johnnyBSBL4