Chargers: Los Angeles has a legitimate chance to upset the Patriots

CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 22: Quarterback Philip Rivers (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 22: Quarterback Philip Rivers (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Chargers surprisingly enter their week eight clash with the New England Patriots with a 3-4. Rolling with the momentum of a three-game winning streak, the Chargers have all the right tools to upset the Patriots in Foxborough.

Three weeks ago the Chargers were 0-4 with three tough losses and tanking seemed inevitable. Now, as the calendar gets ready to turn to November, the Chargers are one win away from being .500 at the halfway point of the season for the first time since 2014. Standing in their way? The defending champion New England Patriots.

Now, don’t be misunderstood, these are not the same Super Bowl Champion Patriots that upset the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. The defense has been horrible, and although the team did turn around with a 23-7 victory over the Falcons last week, there are still many doubts.

New England is a Nick Folk missed field goal party and a Brandin Cooks touchdown away from being 3-4, just like the Chargers.

In fact, the two teams present different ends of the spectrum; one at 3-4 and the other at 5-2. The Chargers have been very unlucky. Los Angeles is two botched field goals away from being 5-2 themselves, and if they could have just given their offense one more drive against the Eagles, could be 6-1.

As bad as people paint the Chargers to be, isn’t that amazing? A 3-4 team can easily be 6-1. While realistically a 6-1 record would not be an accurate representation of their talent, a 5-2 record may not be for the Patriots, either.

Where the Chargers have gotten bad breaks the Patriots have gotten good breaks. With the best quarterback ever that tends to happen. However, although they are two games better in the standings, the Patriots are not an unbeatable monster; especially to the Chargers.

In fact, if anything, the Chargers have the perfect solution to defeat the Patriots. And it all revolves around Philip Rivers and James White.

Offensively, the Chargers should have no problem against the Patriots. New England has allowed the most yards per game this season (426.7), 310.3 of which come from the air — the worst in the NFL.

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Whereas with the Los Angeles Chargers, the run defense is a big issue. Los Angeles allows 140.6 rushing yards per game, the second-worst in the NFL only to the Baltimore Ravens. Because of this, teams like the Eagles and Chiefs were able to run the ball down the Chargers’ throat.

However, the Patriots’ offensive performance all relies on Tom Brady and the passing game. New England is second in the league, averaging 300 passing yards per game. Meanwhile, the Patriots average a much more modest 110.7 rushing yards per game.

Don’t get me wrong, the Chargers will make James White look really, really good out there. However, this is the same defense that shut out the Denver Broncos and allowed just 69 yards on 19 attempts. While the Broncos’ offense certainly is nowhere close to the Patriots, the offensive line and C.J. Anderson are at least as good as the Patriots.

So, the focus will be set on containing Tom Brady, per usual. With Joey Bosa, Corey Luiget and Melvin Ingram, the Chargers will be able to pressure. Most importantly, Los Angeles needs to eat away possession.

Again, they have the perfect man for the job in Philip Rivers. Rivers is a master of picking up opposing defensive schemes, audibling to the perfect counter punch and leading an offense. New England is going to need to disguise every defensive look they give Rivers; something they have struggled with all season.

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If the Chargers can just stay to their roots, eat the clock away and allow Rivers the time and space to lead the offense the team will be just fine. In fact, if everything goes right (which never does for the Chargers) this could be a resounding victory for the Bolts.