Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 13 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Mike Reiss, ESPN:
Pick: Patriots 27, Chargers 23
Bold prediction: After the Patriots' Gunner Olszewski saw a punt-return TD nullified by a penalty last weekend, he will take one to the house against a Chargers special-teams unit that has had its struggles in 2020.
Shelley Smith, ESPN
Pick: Patriots 24, Chargers 23
Can Justin Herbert outduel Cam Newton? He has six 300-yard passing games, tied for most by a rookie in NFL history (Andrew Luck in 2012). And with four more passing touchdowns, he'd tie Baker Mayfield for the rookie record of 27.
Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots
Mina Kimes, ESPN: Patriots
Dan Graziano, ESPN: Chargers
Kevin Seifert, ESPN: Patriots
Matt Bowen, ESPN: Patriots
Mike Clay, ESPN: Chargers
Jason Reid, ESPN: Chargers
Damien Woody, ESPN: Patriots
Laura Rutledge, ESPN: Chargers
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com
Pick: Patriots 23, Chargers 20
New England's win last week gave me mid-2001 Patriots vibes, with the home team taking down Arizona via special teams, a great defensive game plan, luck and mostly opponent errors. Bill Belichick specializes in situational football and letting the other team give the game away, which happens to be the Chargers' specialty.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:
Pick: Chargers 28, Patriots 20
This is a long trip for the Patriots, who haven't played that well despite still being alive in the playoff chase. Cam Newton has struggled two of the the past three games. The Chargers are done, but they have Justin Herbert, so the future is bright. Herbert will play well as the Chargers find a way to win a game after so many heartbreaks this year.
Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Chargers
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Patriots
John Breech, CBS Sports: Patriots
Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports: Patriots
Jared Dubin, CBS Sports: Chargers
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 23, Chargers 17
The Patriots have a chance to return from their two-game L.A. swing on the right side of .500. Every other AFC contender should be praying that doesn't happen.
Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 17, Chargers 10
The Patriots aren't done fighting for a playoff spot just yet. I think Bill Belichick is going to have something in store for Justin Herbert.
Paul Perillo, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 24, Chargers 20
Belichick continues to keep rookie QBs in check and offense does just enough to win.
Mike Dussault, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 21, Chargers 20
The Chargers are a young and talented team that have been in every game this season, but mistakes and late breakdowns have cost them. The Patriots stay disciplined with a good defensive gameplan and more big special teams plays to pull out a close win.
Erik Scalavino, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 24, Chargers 21
The Herbert-led Bolts are due for a game in which everything goes their way, and this may very well be it. However, I'm willing to side with Bill Belichick's successful track record against rookie QBs. New England squeaks out a win in the first leg of the teams Southern California sojourn.
Megan O'Brien, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 28, Chargers 21
The Patriots defense does a nice job containing Austin Ekeler. Sony Michel puts together a solid performance on the ground. Patriots win a close one.