Sunday, September 18, 2011
Patriots And Chargers: The Keys To Success.
#1. Antonio Gates- If The Chargers's Offense is going to keep up with Tom Brady and his crew, Gates is going to have to have a big game. New England's defense gave up 5 receptions and 82 yards to Miami's Anthony Fasano... who's not exactly Gates. Of course Belichick is well aware of Gates and what he can do, The Hall of Fame tight end with be under the spotlight in Foxboro.
#2. Mike Tolbert- In a career week 1 performance, Tolbert grabbed 9 receptions, rushed for 35 yards, and had 3 Touchdowns. The Patriots had one of the worst third down defenses last season, if Tolbert is continuously moving the chains on third down The Chargers will have success.
#3. Special Teams- San Diego's special teams unit was one of the worst in The NFL last season, this problem has seemingly been fixed by the new kickoff rule. But that doesn't account for punts. Last week New England's Julien Edelman was effective as a punt returner averaging just under 12 yards per return with a long of 17. If The Chargers can tighten up on their kick coverage it'll be a big help. Every extra yard that you can push Brady back is a big help.
#1. Gronkowski & Hernandez- These 2nd year TE's have become the focal point of this high powered offense. Against two smaller safeties like Eric Weddle and Bob Sanders the Gronknandez could have big production. If the duo can be effective as expected The Pats will be in good shape.
#2. Patrick Chung- With James Sanders in Atlanta and Brandon Meriweather in Chicago, Chung now takes over as the veteran safety. Despite only being in his third season he's a consistent force who can come up and make tackles near the line, and is also a big time hitter over the middle (legal hits). Patrick had a big sack last week but against a much better QB in Phillip Rivers they might need to keep him back to protect Sergio Brown and Josh Barrett at the other safety spot. If Chung plays big in the secondary The Patriots will be able to counter Jackson and Floyd.
#3. Albert Haynesworth Big Al was effective in Miami, he had 2 tackles and drew 2 big holding calls against Incognito which ended drives. Haynesworth has recently spoken on how he wishes he came to New England sooner, how he feels the Patriots have saved his career. I expect Haynesworth to come out with a fire inside him. "“I like the place, too. It makes a huge difference when you come in and feel good about coming in the doors." If Haynesworth can build on his week 1 performance and get consistent pressure on Rivers he could be the driving force for the Pats in week 2.