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Game Preview: Chargers at Patriots

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NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (11-5) vs. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (12-4)
Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Gillette Stadium (65,878)

The New England Patriots earned their ninth consecutive first-round playoff bye after finishing with an 11-5 record and the 2018 AFC East title to earn the second seed in the AFC Playoff field.

The Patriots will host a Divisional Playoff game for the ninth straight season (2010- 18), the most in NFL history. Miami is second with five straight (1981-85). Overall, the Patriots will play in their ninth consecutive Divisional Playoff contest, surpassing Dallas (1975-82) and Pittsburgh (1972-79), who played in eight straight. The Patriots have won 15 Divisional Playoff contests and need one more to match Pittsburgh (16) for most in NFL history.

The Patriots are the only team in the NFL that finished the 2018 season undefeated at home. Dating back to last season, the Patriots have now won 15 straight home games, including the postseason.

SERIES HISTORY

The New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Chargers will meet for the fourth time in the postseason and for the first playoff matchup since New England claimed a 21-12 victory in the 2007 AFC Championship Game on Jan. 20, 2008, at Gillette Stadium.

New England is 2-1 against the Chargers in the playoffs. In addition to the 2007 AFC title game, the two teams met in the 1964 AFL Championship game and a 2006 AFC Divisional playoff game.

The two teams last met in the regular season on Oct. 29, 2017, when New England defeated the Chargers in a 21-13 win at Gillette Stadium. New England leads the regular season series by a 22-14-2 margin.

The series dates back to 1960, the inaugural season for each team. The New England Patriots and Chargers are two of the original eight teams from the American Football League.

This week's game will mark the fourth meeting between the Patriots and the Los Angeles Chargers, as the Chargers were located in Los Angeles during their first season of play in 1960 before moving back to Los Angles prior to the 2017 season. The two teams split the series in 1960.

Bill Belichick is 7-5 in his career against the Chargers in the regular season, including a 6-3 record as head coach of the Patriots. He is 2-0 against the Chargers in the postseason.

SERIES BREAKDOWN

Overall Record, 24-15-2

Home Record, 13-8-1

  • Boston, 2-7-1
  • Foxborough, 11-1-0

Road Record, 11-7-1

  • Los Angeles, 1-0-0
  • San Diego, 10-7-1

Longest winning streak: 10 games (12/02/73-10/14/01)

Longest losing streak: 4 games (11/10/68– 11/15/70)

Bill Belichick vs. San Diego: 7-5 (1-2 with Cleveland)

Anthony Lynn vs. New England: 0-1

TALE OF THE TAPE

Table inside Article
2018 REGULAR SEASON NEW ENGLAND L.A. CHARGERS
Record 11-5 12-4
Divisional Standings 1st 2nd
Total yards Gained 6,295 5,962
Total Offense (Rank) 393.4 (5) 372.6 (11)
Rush Offense 127.3 (5) 117.1 (15)
Pass Offense 266.1 (8) 255.6 (10)
Points Per Game 27.3 (4) 26.8 (6t)
Total Yards Allowed 5,746 5,339
Total Defense 359.1 (21) 333.7 (9)
Rush Defense 112.7 (11) 105.8 (9)
Pass Defense 246.4 (22) 227.9 (9)
Points Allowed/Game 20.3 (7) 20.6 (8)
Possession Avg. 31:05 30:43
Sacks Allowed/Yards Lost 21/147 34/227
Sacks Made/Yards 30/238 38/240
Passing TD/Int (off.) 29/11 32/12
Passing TD/Int (def.) 29/18 23/13
Total Touchdowns 51 51
Penalties Against/Yards 93/744 113/967
Punts/Avg. 64/45.1 62/42.6
Field Goals Made/Att. 27/32 24/29
Takeaway/Giveaway Ratio +10 (5) +1 (15t)

PASSING PERFORMANCES

Tom Brady has played against Chargers eight times in the regular season and twice in the playoffs. Brady is 2-0 against the Chargers in the postseason and owns a 6-2 record against the Chargers in regular-season meetings.

Philip Rivers has started against the Patriots eight times, including twice in the playoffs. Rivers has posted a 1-5 record against New England in the regular season and an 0-2 mark in the playoffs.

IF THE PATRIOTS WIN IN THE DIVISIONAL ROUND...

  • The Patriots will break their own NFL record (126 wins) for most wins (regular and postseason) in a decade with 127, a record set originally by the 2000-09 Patriots. The Patriots would do so with one complete season remaining in the decade.
  • The Patriots (13 wins) will match the NFL record for most postseason wins in a decade, held by New England (2000s), Dallas (1970s) and Pittsburgh (1970s) with 14.
  • The Patriots will win their 16th Divisional Playoff game to tie Pittsburgh for the most Divisional wins in NFL history.
  • The Patriots will extend their own NFL record by advancing in the postseason for the eighth-straight season (2011-18).
  • New England will win its ninth-straight home playoff game, dating back to 2014.
  • The Patriots will extend their NFL record by reaching their eighth straight conference title game (2011-18). They will also play in the 15th conference championship game in franchise history, tying the San Francisco 49er's for second-most in NFL history.
  • The Patriots will improve their all-time franchise mark in the playoffs to 35-20 (.636), the best playoff winning percentage in NFL history among teams that have played at least 15 playoff games.
  • Bill Belichick will advance to his 13th conference championship game as a head coach, extending his record for the most since the 1970 merger.
  • Tom Brady will improve to 13-2 (.866) in the divisional round of the playoffs, including a 12-1 (.923) mark at home.
  • Tom Brady will advance to his 13th conference championship game, extending his NFL record. Gene Upshaw and George Blanda are second with 10 conference championship game appearances.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast by CBS and can be seen locally on WBZ-TV Channel 4. Jim Nantz will handle play-by-play duties with Tony Romo as the color analyst. Tracy Wolfson and Jay Feely will work from the sidelines. The game will be produced by Jim Rikhoff and directed by Mike Arnold.

NATIONAL RADIO: Sunday's game will be broadcast on Westwood One with Ian Eagle calling the play-by-play and Tony Boselli as analyst. Hub Arkush will provide sideline analysis.

LOCAL RADIO: 98.5 The Sports Hub is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 41 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis. The games are produced by Marc Cappello.

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