NE Patriots at LA Chargers
Time: 3:25 PM EST
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Patriots enter as winners of three of its last four. Prior to this, the Pats had a rough series of losses. The Pats were outscored 77 to 28 over that stretch, so finding areas to improve upon was hardly difficult.
The pass offense has suffered due partly to injury. Even so, the Patriots are the fifth-worst pass offense even healthy. It manages under 200 yards from passing, which is fairly unlike New England. Meanwhile, the Patriots are a dangerous team on the ground, at least, ranking No. 5 in the NFL, but it just is not enough to produce a healthy offense, as the Patriots average just 20.8 Points per game (While Surrendering 2.4 more per game).
Newton, thus far, has been something of a mixed bag. Then again, he was just that in Carolina before coming to fill Tom Brady’s shoes, and Patriots fans cannot help but mourn the loss of Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, because the writing is very much on the wall that the Patriots dynasty has at long last come to its end.
Newton has thrown 66.9 percent for completion, but that is where the good stats end. Over list last three starts, he has thrown under 20 passes in two of them. The big problem for Newton has been his picks. He has thrown nine already while it is also astounding the Patriots have just four passing touchdowns. To say Newton has done little else would be quite wrong. He is No. 2 on the Pats in rushing yards with 387 and has nine rushing touchdowns to his credit, as well as 39 first downs. Both those marks lead the team.
There has been a major shakeup in the receiver hierarchy this season, too. Damiere Byrd and Jakobi Meyers emerged as the top-2 weapons, while Damien Harris and Sony Mitchel have missed time due to injury and been non-factors this season. Between them, they have missed half the appearances this season, with Mitchel also being a missed rushing threat having seen just 26 attempts but also leading the team in yards-per-carry (6.7).
The Patriots have a 4.6 yard-per-carry average as a team this season, and rushing the ball has been the motor behind the offense. It just cannot be the sole ticket. Without Edleman available, the Patriots turned to its backfield likely to pick up the missing plays.
Two of the top three receivers (after Edleman) are running backs, in N’Keal Harry and James White. Damiere Byrd is the top remaining receiver left, but he has barely mattered. Change happens, it seems, after all.
The L.A. Chargers are just 3-8 and just 2-3 at home this season where it faces the Patriots this week. The Chargers won Week 1 against the Cincinnati Bengals and also defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars, but it has still lost four of its last five, and a four-game losing streak was sandwiched between its two wins: It has not gone well. The team is in the last place in the AFC West.
The Chargers have a powerful offense that ranks No. 2 in pass offense and no. 11 in rush offense, but produces the mediocre results of just 21.6 points per game. Having attacks ranked in the top-11 with an offense that is merely middle of the pack is, unfortunately, a thing, as is having a defense that allows even more scoring, giving up 27.3 points per game, and equating the point differential to an unhealthy -5.7 points.
Justin Herbert has been the ignition of this strong pass offense, averaging 320.0 yards per game and already having thrown 23 touchdowns. He has seven interceptions and 22 sacks, but his passer rating is outstanding at 100.9, and Herbert has also been effective when rushing. He has 41 attempts for 185 yards and three touchdowns, which leads all rushers for scoring.
Joshua Kelley has been good for a lot of short attempts, 109 at a 3.2 yard-per-carry average, while others- particularly Justin Jackson, have been better at finding gaps for bigger plays. Jackson has two big plays in 41 carries to Kelley’s three in 109. So there has been a more favorable ratio with Jackson, that isn’t being given its full due.
Austin Ekeler has a 4.6 yard-per-carry average and has rushed for 16 first downs despite having just 63 overall attempts this season. There is plenty of talent in the Chargers’ backfield, and it should only be a matter of time before some wins even this season around.
It has been an unfairly bad start for how well several aspects of the game have gone for Los Angeles this season.