PATRIOTS: 5-6, 5-6 ATS
CHARGERS: 3-8, 5-6 ATS
Yes, there is still a path to the playoffs for the Patriots, but it disappears forever if they don't win on Sunday. Meanwhile, for the Chargers this is another chance to prove that Justin Herbert is ready to take the next leap in his development.
The key indeces are in for a heck of a contest; the Chargers hold an advantage in Real QBR Differential and Passer Rating Differential thanks to Herbert's heroics. The Patriots have an edge in the Intelligence Index and Rusher Rating Differential.
Yet the interesting factor in this game is how each opponent's defensive is, conceivably, ill suited to contain the other. While the Patriots continue to find ways to make an exotic rushing attack work, the Chargers have struggled to contain the run. And while the Chargers success has been driven almost entirely by their work through the air, the New England passing defense is statistically a far cry from it's 2019 best.
Still, those two shifting mismatches do provide a clue about how this game should be won. While Los Angeles' rushing defense should be a legitimate liability, the Patriots passing defense still features a majority of the talent that drove it forward in 2019 and has played exceptional defense at times in 2020. It's finally (nearly) fully healthy again, and could be in position to run strange formations to confuse Herbert.
Anyone wondering if Herbert's head will be swimming come Sunday should Google the past record of rookie quarterbacks playing against a Bill Belichick-coached defense.
For that reason alone we like New England's chances to reach .500 and remain on the outskirts of the playoff conversation. It may not be pretty, but something tells us come Sunday the Patriots may finally get the job done without an excess of drama away from home.
|New England Patriots||Analysis||Los Angeles Chargers|
|17.29||20||Quality Stats Power Rankings||18.90||23|
|6.44||18||Real Passing Yds/Attempt||6.74||12|
|7.62||29||Defensive Real Passing Yds/Attempt||6.18||10|
|78.94||21||Real Quarterback Rating||91.50||10|
|89.10||22||Defensive Real Quarterback Rating||90.48||25|
|-10.16||24||Real Quarterback Rating Differential||1.02||17|
|76.60||29||Offensive Passer Rating||99.03||11|
|95.18||20||Defensive Passer Rating||95.81||21|
|-18.58||28||Passer Rating Differential||3.22||15|
|7.00||8||Offensive Hog Index||11.33||15|
|8.33||9||Defensive Hog Index||12.33||17|
|4,650||18||Total Team Yards||5,175||4|
|4,502||9||Total Team Yards Allowed||4,858||22|
|148||14||Total Team Yards Differential||317||10|
|114.87||3||Offensive Rusher Rating||85.71||28|
|100.98||19||Defensive Rusher Rating||103.35||20|
|13.89||7||Rusher Rating Differential||-17.64||27|