What we have here is a matchup between polar opposites. In this corner, the wildly-talented Chargers, a 3-8 team that’s able to pluck defeat from the jaws of victory with regularity with head-scratching decisions, situational weirdness, special teams sluggishness and a penchant for penalties.
Annnd in this corner, the not-tremendously talented 5-6 Patriots who somehow find a way every week to make up for what they lack in talent by waiting on their opponent’s missteps and capitalizing when they come. Trick play here and there. Special teams savvy. Stay away from the penalties. Confuse the quarterback. Voila. Win. Or close to it.
The Patriots need this win to have a chance to leapfrog the Ravens and Raiders, who they each trail by a game in the race to get into the Wild Card chase.