Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 8 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Mike Reiss, ESPN:
Pick: Patriots 27, Chargers 23
Bold prediction: Patriots receiver Jakobi Meyers will catch his first touchdown pass in the NFL. He has played in 36 career games and has 126 receptions with no TDs -- the first player since the 1970 merger with that kind of combination. The Chargers can be tough to throw against, but quarterback Mac Jones and the Patriots' offense enters off its most explosive performance of the season.
Shelley Smith, ESPN
Pick: Chargers 27, Patriots 21
What to watch for: Will Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert step up to the occasion? He has been solid this season, but he's facing Patriots coach Bill Belichick who can fool just about anybody. The Patriots walloped Herbert and the Chargers 45-0 last season, but as L.A. running back Austin Ekeler said, "This isn't last year's team." The Patriots have plenty of post-snap trickery and love to run man defense with two safeties high. But Herbert has more experience this season and won't be caught by surprise. -- Shelley Smith
Emmanuel Acho, ESPN: Patriots
Matt Bowen, ESPN: Chargers
Mike Clay, ESPN: Chargers
Jeremy Fowler: Chargers
Dominique Foxworth, ESPN: Patriots
Dan Graziano, ESPN: Chargers
Rob Ninkovich, ESPN: Chargers
Laura Rutledge, ESPN: Chargers
Kevin Seifert, ESPN: Chargers
Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Chargers
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com
Pick: Patriots 27, Chargers 26
Bill Belichick has eyes and knows that Justin Herbert is going to be one of the league's top quarterbacks for a long time. Belichick also has a memory, which should find solace in the Patriots shutting out Herbert last season. This is a very different secondary, however, with Stephon Gilmore in Carolina and underrated slot corner Jonathan Jones on injured reserve. The only way to beat the Chargers will be to pile up points and stay as aggressive as the Pats were against the Jets. Damien Harris is the perfect interior runner to gash Brandon Staley's run defense and keep the score closer than five points, even if New England doesn't win outright.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:
Pick: Chargers 30, Patriots 20
This is a long trip against a team coming off a bye for the Patriots. That's always a challenge, but it's even tougher facing a good Chargers team that lost the last time out. I think the Chargers and Justin Herbert will bounce back from that loss and play well here. Chargers take it and cover.
Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports: Chargers
Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Chargers
Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Chargers
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Chargers
John Breech, CBS Sports: Chargers
Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports: Chargers
Jared Dubin, CBS Sports: Chargers
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Chargers 30, Patriots 23
The Chargers had extra time to get ready for this one, and extra incentive to make amends for last year's 45-0 loss to the Patriots, who will wish they had saved some of the 54 they scored in Week Seven for this one.
Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Chargers 27, Patriots 24
The Patriots will be competitive but ultimately come up short, with Justin Herbert leading a fourth-quarter comeback.
Paul Perillo, Patriots.com:
Pick: Chargers 27, Patriots 23
Back and forth affair in LA comes down to the wire but the Patriots fall just short.
Mike Dussault, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 29, Chargers 28
The Patriots handled the Chargers last year, but Justin Herbert has made some significant strides in his second season with a full complement of weapons around him. The Pats keep the momentum from last weekend's blowout of the Jets and prevail in a back-and-forth affair that goes down to the very last play.
Erik Scalavino, Patriots.com:
Pick: Chargers 35, Patriots 23
Yes, New England looked near-perfect in their most recent thrashing of the New York Jets, while Los Angeles could do almost nothing right in their last outing, Week 6 at Baltimore. However, that Chargers performance was an outlier thus far this season, as was the Patriots' against the Jets. I'm going to need to see more evidence before I'm convinced that either is indicative of what these two teams really are. In the interim, I'll go with the law of averages and say the Chargers, who've been a potent offense all year, win this one at home.