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What to expect from the Chargers, how the Patriots match up, and why RBs will be key

The Patriots and Chargers have played just twice in the last five seasons, and Belichick has faced Chargers coach Anthony Lynn only once in Lynn’s two seasons.

Tom Brady Philip Rivers
Tom Brady and Philip Rivers shake hands in 2017 after a Patriots-Chargers matchup. (Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff) –Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

Bill Belichick isn’t messing around this week. The Chargers are coming to town for a playoff matchup with the Patriots, and they have Belichick’s full attention.

“This is a very good football team,’’ Belichick said Monday. “Extremely talented. They can run it. They can throw it deep. They can throw it short. They can make explosive runs for 50 yards and they can grind it out with good, tough, hard-nosed runs for tough yardage that they need. It’s a very well-coached, well-balanced, disciplined football team.’’

The Patriots and Chargers have played just twice in the last five seasons, and Belichick has faced Chargers coach Anthony Lynn only once in Lynn’s two seasons. But there is some familiarity between the teams.