Chargers At Patriots Notebook

San Diego Chargers at New England Patriots

Thoughts on the game:

Its finally here...the moment we have all been waiting for. How will the Chargers hold up physically in the extreme conditions of a bitter cold road game in Foxboro?

LT in an interview said that at this point in the year, nobody is 100 percent...I cant imagine how much pain guys like LT, Rivers, and Gates are trying to play through. Thank you science, for the invention of painkillers!

Running the ball on first and second down is hardly surprising, but seeing Rivers dump off to Sproles on third down was semi-imaginative. Lets hope the play calling is going to be a bit more exotic because the Patriots are going to be well-coached against our schemes.

The Chargers are actually a better defense in their nickel packages because it allows Eric Weddle to get on the field. Similar situation earlier in the year when the play of our defense improved as Cromartie was brought in as the third corner.

Not sure I would be testing the match up between Asante Smauel and Vincent Jackson too much...this is a guy who had ten interceptions last year not including some big ones in the playoffs.

Certainly one way to attack the Chargers defense is to spread them out and quickly get rid of the ball. The Patriots are one of the best, if not the best in the league at doing that.

For a team like the Chargers it is so crucial to have good running backs. We know what LT is all about but the threat of injury is high among running backs who touch the ball as much as Tomlinson. The Chargers offense is built to run the ball and when Michael Turner leaves in free agency, the team will need to prepared for that by acquiring a talented runner.

Jammer made a play on the ball like I have never seen him do before. That interception was a thing of beauty.

I love Lorenzo Neal and I know I've said this before but throwing him the ball out of the backfield is basically a wasted play.

Good for Nate hitting that field goal true. He's had a rough time kicking field goals in the playoffs and I hope today he can get that monkey off his back. Scoring first against the Patriots is nice but we are going to need to score touchdowns.

I've been noticing the ball floating a bit on passes thrown by Brady and Rivers today. Thats gotta be a cold-weather thing...

Chargers unable to stop the third and short run and the Patriots convert. I'm going to be watching for third and short situations to see if the defense can step it up.

Thats really frustrating to see the Patriots convert another third and short. There was no disguise, they lined up in freakin goal line formation! I know that professional offenses should be able to gain a yard but those conversions usually keep drives alive and teams can end up scoring on you.

If they want to leave Vincent Jackson open, by all means throw him the ball as much as possible.

I'm not too worried if LT can't play today because Turner is such a good back in his own right. He keeps things simple and challenges defenses to stop him.

Phil Sims mentions that the Chargers air attack is a deep, down the field one. I can't help but think how different the offense has become under Norv Turner and with the addition of Chris Chambers. Last year's Chargers scored a bunch of points just like this year, but they did it in a different way...mostly via Tomlinson touchdown runs.

Mike Vrabel and Matt Wilhelm...brothers from another mother.

The Chargers can't afford to settle for field goals. They have scored more times than the Pats but are still behind in points.

Jammer has been having a great first half...huge play denying Randy Moss the football and preventing the conversion on third down.

Vince Wilfork looks like he is one trip to In-N-Out before eating himself right out of the NFL. Dude looks unhealthy!

Phil Sims always blames the wide receivers for interceptions...hilarious.

The Patriots are scoring touchdowns, and the Chargers are kicking field goals. If this keeps up, the game wont stay close for long.

Why does Rivers throw so many interceptions? I mean what is he thinking? Already with two picks in the first half and the Patriots are scoring off these turnovers.

Once again, Jammer making plays. He's getting some serious spotlight today and hopefully that'll translate to a Pro Bowl for the guy next year. I've always been a big fan of #23.

Three points are better than zero points but the Chargers need to step up and score a touchdown or four in the second half.

Funny how the Patriots fans boo Rivers as he runs into the locker room. Antonio Gates walks into the locker room as well but he doesn't get any boos. Gotta love what being a fantasy football stud will do for you when in an opponent's house!

The Patriots open the second half with a steady offensive drive. They run the ball on third and short and once again the Chargers fail to stop them from gaining enough for the first down.

Tom Brady isn't Mr. Perfect when he plays against the San Diego Chargers. He never is allowed to get comfortable in the pocket and as a result he'll throw a few interceptions.

Adalius Thomas is a very large individual. Dude can really run...especially considering he is basically a defensive lineman in terms of body-type.

Looking at the Patriots, Steelers, and Cowboys, each of those 34 defenses have what is essentially a linebacker for Strong Safety (Troy Polamalu, Rodney Harrison, and Roy Williams).

The Patriots are stepping up their game when their backs are against the wall and the Chargers are forced to kick field goals in the red zone. That is a major problem and although the Chargers have scored four times, they STILL trail the Patriots 12 to 14.

Down in the redzone, the Patriots decided to throw it from the 2 yard line on a third and goal. They were running the ball so well that it surprised me to see them opt to toss a pass instead of punching it in with Lawrence Maroney. What surprised me even more was to see Antonio Cromartie use his great range to intercept the ball in the endzone. That was a major play as the Patriots were looking to build a nine point lead.

The Patriots are leading by nine in the fourth quarter but the Chargers are airing it out and Rivers is hitting Jackson, Chambers, and even Gates. Those guys are stepping up big right now.

Chargers are still trailing by nine and now its the Patriots who are driving down the field. They are controlling the tempo of the game and are trying to kill the clock. The Chargers need to stay poised and play fast.

Chargers have not played great run defense and on third and short give up the first down to Maroney. That'll basically wrap the game up and with that the Chargers' hopes of reaching the Super Bowl. It was an amazing run full of ups and downs but the Patriots are an excellent team and did what they had to do to come out on top.

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January 20, 2008

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Chris Smith said... Jan 24, 2008, 8:08:00 AM

I actually blogged about this game, and the subsequent aftermath, over at my blog:
I would love to hear from a real Chargers fan about this - all comments will be replied to.

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