So, any relevant topics in the NFL this week? No?
On with the picks then.
Greg Cote, Miami Herald: Chargers 34, Patriots 30. ” One of the hardest things to do in betting is to say “no thanks” when you hear, “You get Tom Brady. Plus 3 points.” Like the Cowboys, but maybe more so, San Diego is simply too goodto keep being this bad. Bolts, then. But anxiously”
Peter King, Sports Illustrated: Patriots 31, Chargers 29. ” Tom Brady wins a shootout. Tough call, because the Chargers need this game badly (oh really?), Philip Rivers is on fire, and the Patriots’ young secondary is amazingly generous, allowing foes to complete 71 percent of their throws. I’d pick the Chargers if half their offense wasn’t on the sidelines at practice Wednesday — and particularly if I could count on Antonio Gates being the real Gates with his toe injury.”
ESPN.com staff: Five out of eight pick the Patriots.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: Chargers 21, Patriots 17. “The Chargers are in a must-win situation. They can’t afford to go to 2-5. This is a long trip for the Patriots, who played well in their first Randy Moss-less game last week. The Chargers desperation will show here. They find a way with Philip Rivers having a big day.”
Sporting News staff: Four out of six pick the Patriots.
Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk.com: Patriots 28, Chargers 13. “The Chargers are sputtering and the Pats are soaring. Though the Chargers may indeed pull off a sellout, the fans won’t be too pleased with what they see from an injury-riddled home team that shoots itself in the foot even when the squad is healthy. “
Pete Schrager, Foxsports.com: Chargers 28, Patriots 21. “In four road games this season, the Chargers have lost to the Chiefs, Seahawks, Raiders and Rams. Those four were a combined 15-49 last year with none finishing better than 5-11. Lost in the muck of those four losses, though, are two dominant victories at home, in which the Bolts outscored the Jaguars and Cardinals 79-23. The Patriots looked like the Patriots of old in Week 6?s comeback win over Baltimore ? six different players got carries, Deion Branch caught nine balls, Tom Brady was throwing temper tantrums after getting hit ? but Sunday won?t be a walk in the park. Give me the Chargers, who are in full-on desperation mode, over the 4-1 Patriots.”
Gregg Rosenthal, ProFootballTalk.com: Chargers 30, Patriots 27. “The Chargers are first in the NFL in yards on offense and defense, yet they are 2-4. They’ve mostly failed because of special teams and turnovers, but their pass protection fell apart in St. Louis and their receivers are banged up. The Patriots are a decent matchup for them. New England doesn’t have the playmakers on defense to hurry Philip Rivers or the secondary to cover who suits up.”
Dave Goldberg, NFL FanHouse: Patriots 24, Chargers 20. “Smarter team wins. And the Patriots are the smarter team, as they were in 2007, when they had a very fluky victory in San Diego in a playoff game.”
USA Today staff: Six out of eight pick the Patriots.
Yahoo! sports staff: New England across the board.
We like: Patriots 31, Chargers 24. Aaron Hernandez makes up for last week’s rookie mistakes by shredding the Chargers’ defense. .