Chargers head to Foxborough to face Belichick, Patriots


Sunday, 1 p.m., EST, CBS

OPENING LINE: Chargers by 5 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Los Angeles 4-7; New England 2-9.

SERIES RECORD: New England leads 24-14-2.

LAST MEETING: Patriots won 27-24 in 2021.

LAST WEEK: Chargers lost 20-10 to Ravens; Patriots lost 10-7 to Giants.





TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Chargers plus-3; Patriots minus-8.

CHARGERS PLAYER TO WATCH: LB Khalil Mack is tied for third in the NFL with 13 sacks, a franchise record for the most by a player in his first 11 games in a season. Mack is two sacks away from tying his career-best of 15 in 2015 with the Raiders. He had six sacks in November, which led the league.

PATRIOTS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Bailey Zappe has relieved Mac Jones four times this season, including the past two games. He has performed better than Jones over the past two games — leading New England to its only touchdown in the past 10 quarters — but has also thrown two costly interceptions.

KEY MATCHUP: With the Patriots QB situation in flux, look for RB Rhamondre Stevenson to try to run them out of their slump. The third-year back has run for 270 yards and two touchdowns in the past three games, including a season-high 98 yards against the Giants last week. Including receiving yards, he has topped 100 for three straight games. The Chargers are ranked 14th against the run and have allowed only one 100-yard rusher this season.

KEY INJURIES: Chargers WR Keenan Allen is questionable with a thigh bruise. … Patriots RB Demario Douglas is in the concussion protocol after taking a hit to the head against the Giants.

SERIES NOTES: Bill Belichick is 11-3 against the Chargers with the Patriots, including all three playoff matchups and nine straight wins overall. … The former AFL rivals first met in 1960. … A 10th straight New England win (including playoffs) would match the longest streak for either team, a 10-0 Patriots run from 1973-2001. … The most recent Chargers win in the series was in 2008.

STATS AND STUFF: Brandon Staley has a 25-25 record. This is the first time since Week 2 of the 2021 season he has been at .500. … Los Angeles was tied for the league low with only eight giveaways in its first 10 games. It had four last week, which was its most in a game since 2020. … The offense is fourth in red zone touchdown rate (63.9%), reaching the end zone in 23 of 36 trips. … QB Justin Herbert has two touchdowns and four interceptions in two starts against the Patriots, both losses. Herbert has 114 touchdown passes and needs one more to surpass Patrick Mahomes for the most in a player’s first four seasons. … RB Austin Ekeler has five straight games with at least 60 scrimmage yards. … WR Keenan Allen had 43 catches in November, which is a league record for the most in the month. He leads the league with 97 receptions and has three straight games with at least 10 catches. … The Chargers defense is tied for sixth in the league with 36 sacks. … The third down defense is tied for sixth best in the league at 35.2%.It has allowed just 50 conversions on 142 attempts. … OLB Tuli Tuipulotu is tied for the most tackles for loss (eight) by a rookie this season and is tied for second in sacks (four). … S Alohi Gilman had nine tackles and a pass defensed in last week’s loss to Baltimore. … K Cameron Dicker is 37 of 39 on field goals since joining the Chargers last season. … The Patriots have lost two straight games in the red throwback uniforms they will wear. … Belichick will coach in his 424th game (including playoffs), surpassing Don Shula for third most in NFL history (George Halas, 506; Tom Landry, 454). … New England (eighth) is hoping to finish in the top 10 in defense for the 11th time under Belichick. … CB J.C. Jackson has 26 interceptions, tied for the most in the NFL since 2018. He is ninth on the Patriots’ all-time list, one behind Maurice Hurst. … TE Pharoah Brown is averaging 24.3 yards per reception, which would break Stanley Morgan’s franchise record of 23.4.


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