The Patriots will be playing the Los Angeles Chargers today.
Here are a few things to pay attention to during the game.
1. The impact of Dont’a Hightower’s injury
Star linebacker Dont’a Hightower tore his pectoral muscle during last week’s victory over the Atlanta Falcons, and is out for the rest of the season. This injury comes at a terrible time for the Patriots, who were finally starting to find their identity on defense. The Patriots have been shaky against the run in the last few weeks, and will face a tall task, with Melvin Gordon coming to town. Look for Kyle Van Noy and David Harris to take over Hightower’s role on defense.
2. Performance of the Patriots’ offensive line
The Patriot offensive line has improved greatly over the last few weeks, with TB12 taking less fewer hits over that span. The offensive line will be tested this week, as the Chargers have 2 highly skilled pass rushers in Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa who have 8.5 and 7.5 sacks respectively. In order for the Patriots to have a chance of winning, the offensive line will need to keep Brady on his feet.
3. Questions at cornerback
Stephon Gilmore was signed in the offseason to a 5 year contract worth $65 million. Gilmore hasn’t played like the number one corner he was paid to be, as he has been responsible for several defensive mishaps, and has given up several big plays. Gilmore is questionable for today’s game, but it is fair to wonder if Bill Belichick will pick Gilmore over Johnson Bademosi, who has shown that he is capable of being a starter.
Prediction: Patriots 28, Chargers 17