NFL Playoffs: Predicting the AFC Divisional Round Sans Broncos
Chargers @ Patriots
The Los Angeles Chargers head to Foxboro in the second round of the NFL Playoffs to play for the chance to play in the AFC Championship game against either the Chiefs or the Colts.
New England started the season 1-3, losing to the Detroit Lions and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Chargers also started off 1-3, losing to the Chiefs in week 1 and the Rams in week 3. Then, magic happened for the Chargers, was they won six straight games.
Phillip Rivers has never beaten Tom Brady, which is concerning for Chargers fans. Rivers has been in the league since 2004.
I think that this game will also be a tight one.
Patriots 34, Chargers 30
The Chargers are walking into Gillette stadium to take on the always-postseason-favorite New England Patriots. A daunting task to square off against the most decorated football player of all time, whose experience in the playoffs is second to none.
I’m of course talking about everyone in Broncos Country’s favorite quarterback, Tom Brady. While the majority of players would fear going toe to toe in the playoffs with one of the greats, one player comes to mind that who is ready for the challenge. A seasoned veteran with one of the best football minds in the game, Philip Rivers. I cannot think of a quarterback that is still active that has better pre-snap comprehension that Rivers.
Backed by a solid receiving core, a stout running back, and a scary pass rush, Rivers will take his victory against the best in league defense of Baltimore, and stroll in to Gillette more confident than probably any other player in the league.
One of the most overlooked factors of the playoffs is the importance of experience. Playoff football is a whole new animal. Having seasoned players like Keenan Allen, Melvin Gordon, and Philip Rivers, helps the entire team prepare.
The Chargers finished the year with a 12-4 record, which is superior to the 11-5 of the Patriots, and honestly I was rather underwhelmed by the Patriots this year. Their top 5 offense was stifled by their 21st ranked Patricia-less defense.
The Chargers are a well-rounded team, and are a legitimate threat on both sides of the ball. Boasting a top 10 defense and the 11th ranked offense, LA has a very good chance at winning this game.
The Patriots are a one-sided team, a high-powered offense with little defensive help. While Brady is usually good enough to bail his team out, I don’t think he will have enough to topple the high flying Chargers.
Again, I am picking the away team: I like Los Angeles in this one.
Chargers 31, Patriots 24