AFC Championship: New England Patriots vs. San Diego Chargers

tomlinson.jpg
LT will bring the pain if he plays but can the rest of his team follow suit?

I don’t think most realize how nice a team the Chargers have. To win in Indy in January is a feat all its own–at least in recent memory–but to do this without Phillip Rivers, LaDanian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates at full strength is nothing short of miraculous.

Obviously, the Chargers defense has the daunting task of neutralizing the Pats high powered offense. If they can’t get pressure on Tom Brady, San Diego will get thoroughly embarrassed.

LT will do his thing if he can go. Regardless of his chill swerve, he wants to run over the Pats like any team he’s ever faced. Trust he remembers the Pats dancing on the Charger logo after a terrible defeat in last years playoffs. He will run hard today–regardless of injury. If his numbers approach anything close to what he’s capable of, this could get very interesting. Same thing with Gates–battling again a dislocated toe.

If LT can’t go, Michael Turner will show he’s an adequate backup.

On Defense, will Shaun Phillips and Shawne Merriman suddenly become an encapsulated hybrid of Deion Sanders and Lawrence Taylor for the Super Chargers to have a chance?

Yes. The versatile linebackers will have to be sick with their skills today.

It also remains to be seen how effective Antonio Cromartie will be covering Randy Moss. SD will disguise coverages with front four pressure in hopes of compromising the timing of Brady.

This has to be a four quarter effort by San Diego on all fronts.

The Chargers are athletic all over the field on D, so if the offense can muster any kind of consistency San Diego has more than just a chance to pull the upset.

Don’t deal with spreads here, but 14 points is way too much.

On offense the Pats will continue to keep the defense off balance with a combination of deep balls and running plays disguised as passes. I don’t think Lawrence Maroney will do anything unless New England gets out early.

Expect a heavy dose of Moss, Stallworth, Welker and Caldwell to wear down San Diego early so Brady can do his thing in the fourth. Another big key is Kevin Faulk. Faulk seems to show up big in games of this magnitude. Keep an eye on #33.

Rivers, LT and Gates will do all they can to remain on the field the entire game. It honestly is not the time to come with less than 100% effectiveness against a team battling the legacy of the sport.

Big game for both coaches. Will Norv Turner turn the corner or will Bill Belichick shut up all the haters?

New England 35, San Diego 24

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25 Responses to “AFC Championship: New England Patriots vs. San Diego Chargers”

  1. GrandNubian Says:

    On that Rivers INT, Vrabel got away with a “leg-whip”.

  2. GrandNubian Says:

    14-12 NE…..the Chargers are not turning those trips in the red zone into TDs. They could be up 28-14. Their defense is playing great but the offense can’t generate any TDs.

    Maybe Sproles will break one on STs. :-)

  3. GrandNubian Says:

    Brady has been picked three times. The Chargers “D” has played the Pats better than any team i’ve seen all year. But if they can’t score TDs it won’t mean anything.

  4. What are Maroney’s legs made of??

  5. The Chargers don’t want to win.

  6. GrandNubian Says:

    Yeah, i agree. They don’t want to win…..at least the offense doesn’t.

  7. Someone has to step up and emulate LT’s leadership. Faulk is a beast in big games.

  8. GrandNubian Says:

    I think the Chargers will eventually put it all together. They still have a pretty young team, and if they can keep the core of the team together, they should at the very least “play” in a SuperBowl.

  9. Somewhere around mid 3rd quarter, the Pats just mentally overpower their opponent. They dont have to do anything but the other team just automatically begins to feel “unworthy” of winning….or at least that’s what it looks like to me.

  10. Ain’t that the truth. Belichick gets ‘em ready mentally like no other.

  11. Can’t you just see it?? You can actually SEE the other team just get demoralized, even if they’re only down 1 score.

  12. Brady played awful but a well rested Maroney finally showed up to play.
    Got to give credit to Rivers for toughing it out.

    S.D. D played great but the Pats D in the Red Zone was too much.

  13. Imagine if the Chargers still had Brees.

  14. Would have been a blow out. Chris Chambers is an elite wide out.

    Maroney proved me wrong. He was definitely a determining factor.

  15. Healthy LT, Gates, Rivers and they don’t kick 4 FG’s. Any one of those healthy and they get at least one TD. Even a healthy Neal…

    Great health all season, and then all (but Neal) get hurt in one game. I don’t like dealing with ‘What ifs’, but the Chargers are no bitch squad there to be beaten down by the all mighty Patriots. Coming into the season, Chargers/Colts/Patriots were the ‘big 3′ teams. Everyone forgot, but they proved they were still part of the ‘big 3′, and that is a different game with the best RB and best TE in the game playing at full health. Not to mention the gimpy QB.

    Whatever, this couldn’t have played out worse for me. I can’t stand Eli, can’t stand the Patriots. The east coast media will be in full swing. More Boston v NY for the rest of the country to consume. I can’t be the only one sick of the media’s fascination with Boston v NY.

  16. Paul Tetuan Says:

    LT is a coward. He was more worried about how he looked rather than his team. He could have played, should have played, and the Chargers just might have won if he played. In his post-game comments he didn’t talk about being in pain, just that he wasn’t explosive enough. I have no respect for him any longer. He is a great running back but a terrible teammate who put himself before the team. How could his teammates respect him after what he did to them. On the other hand, Phillip Rivers is a gamer. He had surgery on his knee on Monday and played the whole game on Sunday. I’m sure that his pain must have been incredible but you didn’t see him sitting on the bench when his team needed him.

    I also don’t understand why most of the media is giving LT a pass on this. The one exception I’ve seen is Deon Sanders. As a former player he called out LT on the NFL Network.

    LT is just a coward for sitting on the bench when his team needed him the most.

  17. thebrotherreport Says:

    I won’t go as far as to call LT a coward, but for someone who was so pissed after what happened last season against the Pats I would’ve figured they would’ve needed to carry him off the field. I don’t know his tolerance for pain so I can’t question that. But there are times in a man’s life when it’s balls to the wall, and you have to let it all go.

  18. I shouldn’t respond, but you’re talking out of your ass on the LT thing.
    If he plays at a 50% and can’t cut, then he’s being selfish for being out there to the detriment of his team. He’s played through injuries before, back when he got cheap shot in the ribs by the Raiders and had to wear a vest. He’s played through other injuries where he didn’t look 100% and it was wondered why he wouldn’t sit and let his backups run.

    Now he’s a bitch because he recognized his limitations? People just like to bitch about something I guess. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. There are some people that live to second guess others.

  19. Vincent Jackson is the elite WR on that team, Chris Chambers’ success is based on what Jackson does, period.

    I think it’s humorous how people who sit on the couch and watch the games on TV with their favorite team replica jerseys on somehow have the balls to question a man’s dignity/testicular fortitude/toughness for not playing because of what happened last year, or because of something said, or what happened in Week 2, or what happened when his baby momma got offended because Belicheck recorded the Jets’ playcalls in Week 1, etc.. It’s funny to me, it actually borders on hilarious…

  20. thebrotherreport Says:

    Who are y’all referring to?

  21. I’m responding to gmp’s comment, in support of his remarks to those who have for whatever reason decided to call out LT for not playing.

    oh, and my first declaration was a reply to mizzo’s early comment about Chris Chambers… my bad

  22. thebrotherreport Says:

    I’m not calling him out in my post I said that I can’t question his threshold for pain – I’m not a pro athlete so I can’t go there. I do feel as though he could’ve been a decoy on a few plays. I’m more surprised than anything of how fast he came out of the game.

  23. boney-

    Thanks for agreeing with the LT thing. I feel the same way you do that calling out another man’s toughness while sitting on your couch is pretty pathetic.

    But I have to disagree with you on the VJ/Chambers thing. Chambers coming over has caused Vincent Jackson to remember he has hands, and stop catching with his body. Once Chambers showed up, Chargers went from no WR threat to 2 bona fide threats. I don’t know how much was natural maturation for VJ or how much was from him being relieved of the pressure of the #1 WR position. I have, however, always liked VJ’s downfield blocking.

    On a side note, Chargers might have 4 legit WR’s last year, when they came into the season with most believing they had none. Buster Davis will be 2nd year, and Parker comes back (still pissed at him about last seasons playoff loss to the Patriots).

    The end of this year sucked, but I see no reason that I won’t be seeing them in the championship game again next year.

  24. TBR-

    That wasn’t necessarily directed at you, but there is a mass of people out there that are dogging on LT for various reasons, such as that Paul guy above. And I think it is BS, not just because that’s my team, but for the same reason I’ll never dog any man like that. Unless I want to fight you, I’m not calling out your manhood.

  25. LT is a punk, you should never leave your team on the field of battle.
    He can break all the records in the regular season, but since the stats really don’t count towards the season, he sits out possibly the only shot he has at a Super Bowl…He Sucks!!! He could have at least been a decoy. Phillip Rivers had a torn ACL, Antonio Gates had a turf toe and they played….Why no LT?
    Even if he hurt it worse he had a whole season to let it heal…PUNK!!!

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