Week 2 Preview: Chargers at Patriots
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (1-0)
at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (1-0)
Kickoff: Sunday, 4:15 p.m. EDT
Line: New England -6.5, Total: 54.5
Two of the AFC’s elite, and two of the NFL’s most explosive offenses, meet Sunday afternoon when San Diego travels to New England for the third time in five seasons.
The Patriots rolled up an absurd 622 yards of offense in their opener, with Tom Brady throwing for a career-high 517. San Diego, meanwhile, held the Vikings to 28 net passing yards in Week 1, and they held Brady to just 159 in their meeting last year. But the Patriots won that game, in large part due to San Diego turnovers and special teams struggles. San Diego outgained them 363-179, but still lost 23-20 at home. And the Chargers are facing special teams problems again. Kicker Nate Kaeding (knee) is out for the year, and they allowed a TD on the season’s opening kickoff. Still, San Diego has the defense to at least hold Brady and Company in check, and the offense to light up a New England pass defense that’s suspect. The pick is SAN DIEGO, and the FoxSheets have a trend that shows the Chargers have had success in shootouts:
SAN DIEGO is 13-3 ATS (81.3%, +9.7 Units) in all games where the total is greater than or equal to 49.5 since 1992. The average score was SAN DIEGO 31.2, OPPONENT 23.6 - (Rating = 1*).
The Chargers outscored Minnesota 17-0 after halftime, led by RB Mike Tolbert’s three touchdowns and Philip Rivers throwing for 335 yards and two scores. Tolbert did suffer a knee injury, but he should be ready to run on Sunday. DE Luis Castillo will not play for a long time after fracturing his tibia, but WR Patrick Crayton (ankle) will likely be able to suit up for Sunday’s matchup. San Diego was 2-6 ATS on the road in 2010.
The Patriots suffered two key injuries to their offensive line in Miami, as C Dan Koppen broke his ankle and is out for at least two months. OT Sebastian Vollmer is questionable for the game with a back injury. Role players DE Jermaine Cunningham (groin), RB Shane Vereen (hamstring) and WR Taylor Price (hamstring) are also questionable to play on Sunday. New England is 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS in the past 10 meetings with the Chargers. The Pats won 21-12 in the AFC Championship game following the 2007 season, but the Bolts got their vengeance with a 30-10 beatdown of New England the following October in San Diego.