New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Chargers Matchup Preview (10/31/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Chargers Matchup Preview (10/31/21)

Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots fly out to the city of angels this weekend to take on an improved Los Angeles Chargers team in what’ll be one of the marquee matchups this Halloween Sunday at SoFi. The Patriots enter the weekend coming off a 41 point thumping of the Jets, while the Chargers cruise in off an early bye. As we near the halfway mark of the NFL season, this game has the potential to pose serious playoff implications moving forward. A Patriots victory puts them in position to make an AFC wildcard push while a loss significantly diminishes their chances of making the playoffs for the second straight year in the post-Tom Brady era. A Chargers victory, on the other hand, places them all alone atop the AFC West, while a loss momentarily knocks them back down to the wild card race. In a rematch of last year’s 45 point Patriot beatdown, Justin Herbert also looks to avenge arguably the worst performance of his young career. 

New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Chargers Betting Odds

Betting Trends
Chargers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a favorite
Patriots are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win.
Patriots are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games
Patriots are 0-7-1 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game

The Pick
As tempting as it is to take Belichick and the points here after last week, the Chargers are definitely the play. There’s no better time to fade an unestablished rookie quarterback than on the road coming off a 40 plus point victory. I think the Patriots are wildly overvalued heading into this game and that the Chargers passing attack is far too much for a Patriots secondary that, despite all the hype, is dead average at the moment. The absence of Devin McCourty at safety is only going to make life that much easier for Justin Herbert, and I don’t think the Patriots offense has the firepower to keep pace. The only thing that gives me pause heading into this one is the Chargers lackluster run defense that has shown it can be pounded on. If New England has success running the ball early, I think it will be an interesting game. Otherwise, I like the Chargers by more than 10. 

My prediction: Chargers win 36-30

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TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, October 31
Time: 1:05 PM ET
Location: Gillette Stadium – Foxborough, MA
TV Coverage: CBS

New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Chargers Live Stream

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Injuries

New England Patriots: G Shaq Mason (Abdomen) Q, SS Devin McCourty (Abdomen) Q, CB Johnathan Jones (Ankle/Shoulder) O, LB Dont’a Hightower (Ankle/Elbow) Q, TE Jonnu Smith (Shoulder) Q, DE Chase Winovich (Hamstring) O, DE Henry Anderson (Pectoral) O, RB James White (Hip) O, OT Trent Brown (Calf) O
Los Angeles Chargers: OT Bryan Bulaga (Back) O, LB Kenneth Murray Jr (Ankle) O, ILB Drue Tranquill (Chest) Q

New England Patriots Analysis

Mac Jones has looked really solid the past few weeks and this past Sunday’s performance against the Jets is a great sign for all Patriot fans. The passing offense is currently ranked ninth in the NFL in yards and third in completion percentage as Jones seems to get more comfortable in the pocket with each passing week. The offensive line, which has been one of the Patriots biggest handicap so far this season, seems to have found a rhythm last week with the return of Shaq Mason at right guard, albeit against the Jets. Though Shaq Mason is listed as questionable heading into the Chargers game, the O-Line needs a strong performance for the Patriots to have a chance. The Chargers currently have the worst run defense in football in yards allowed per game so there will be few better games for this unit to make its mark.

The Patriot defense has been fine, ranking 16th in the NFL this season in passing YPG and 11th in rushing YPG. Devin McCourty’s abdomen injury this past week certainly places some added pressure on this secondary that operates on relatively thin margins to begin with.  

Altogether, though, the Patriots have proven this season that they are capable of hanging with the league’s best. Whether it be Tampa Bay at home or Dallas on the road, the fact that this team, led by a rookie quarterback, is a missed field goal and an overtime drive away from being 5-2 with wins against two of the top 5 teams in the league speaks volumes of the well oiled machine the Patriot organization continues to be.

New England Patriots Depth Chart

QB: Mac Jones
RB1: Damien Harris
RB2: Brandon Bolden
WR1: Nelson Agholor
WR2: Jakobi Meyers
WR3: Kendrick Bourne
TE1: Hunter Henry

Los Angeles Chargers Analysis

Though the last memory of the Chargers on the field was a bludgeoning at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens, it’s safe to say that this season has been a pleasant surprise for fans of the bolts so far. With over 350 yards and 4 touchdowns on the season, Austin Eckler has staked his claim as a legitimate starter at running back in a division that has increasingly struggled in rush offense. Their “risk it for the biscuit” brand of football puts them in position to win games they’ve been outplayed in, and it looks like Brandon Staley can really coach. Perhaps most importantly, Justin Herbert has continued to build on his momentum from last year, establishing himself as a top tier quarterback in the NFL.

Herbert enters the weekend ninth in MVP odds and top 10 in the league in nearly every major stat ranging from touchdowns to QBR to interceptions — or lack thereof. The offense has centered around him in every major way, often asking him to make big plays on third and fourth downs to get them out of bad spots. In their 5 point win over Cleveland in week 5, we saw these heroics on full display as two late game fourth down conversions strung together a touchdown drive that helped push them over the top. In their 28 point loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week, however, we saw a regression to the mean on these heroics as Herbert was unable to convert a majority of third downs, some of which occurred in short yardage situations.

Regardless of what version of Herbert we’ll see on Sunday, one thing we do know for sure is that head coach Brandon Staley has the utmost confidence in his quarterback and isn’t afraid to let him sling it. His willingness to put it out there does make it hard to bet this team at times, however, because you never know what kind of success they’ll have on key fourth downs in the red zone or elsewhere.

Los Angeles Chargers Depth Chart

QB: Justin Herbert
RB1: Austin Ekeler
RB2: Joshua Kelley
WR1: Mike Williams
WR2: Jalen Guyton
WR3: Keenan Allen
TE1: Jared Cook

New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Chargers Daily Fantasy Picks

Given how bad the Chargers run defense has been this season, expect Patriots RB Damien Harris to get a lot of touches and possibly break out some chunk plays. The Patriots love going to him in the red zone and the way their offense has been rolling as of late, I see no reason for this to stop on Sunday. The running back is currently listed at $6,100 on DraftKings.

Week 8 Matchup Previews
  • Patriots @ Falcons
  • Colts @ Bills
  • Ravens @ Bears
  • Lions @ Browns
  • Texans @ Titans
  • Vikings @ Packers
  • Dolphins @ Jets
  • Saints @ Eagles
  • Washington @ Panthers
  • 49ers @ Jaguars
  • Bengals @ Raiders
  • Cowboys @ Chiefs
  • Cardinals @ Seahawks
  • Steelers @ Chargers
  • Giants @ Buccaneers
As a central Ohio native and lifelong Cleveland sports fan, Patrick Monnin has lived the emotional rollercoaster every sports fan knows all too well. Whether it be the Browns or the Buckeyes, he loves watching football and going on nice long runs in the afternoon. In the local Chicago area, where he now lives, he can often be found making the case for LeBron James as the greatest basketball player ever.

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