NFL Game Previews: Divisional Round Matchups
NFL Game Previews: Divisional Round Matchups

This article is part of our NFL Game Previews series.

L.A. Chargers (+4) at New England, 47.0 o/u – Sunday, 1:05 p.m. EST

The Story: Second time was the charm for the Chargers, as they avenged their Week 16 home loss to the Ravens by making the AFC North champs one-and-done back in Baltimore. They did it despite big offensive contributions from anybody, and while a tough closing schedule does bear some of the blame, the Bolts have almost no offensive momentum coming into this one – Philip Rivers hasn't broken 200 passing yards in any of his last three games, while Melvin Gordon hasn't rushed for more than 42 yards in a game since returning from his knee injury. The Patriots may not have an elite defense like the Ravens did, but they've been stingy most of the year, and the weather conditions won't be conducive to the Chargers' passing game suddenly heating up – even if Hunter Henry does make his season debut. New England wasn't exactly firing on all cylinders to close out the regular season either, though. They went 4-2 down the stretch to barely eke out a first-round bye, but three of those wins were against the Bills and Jets, which hardly counts, and their losses came against the going-nowhere Dolphins and a Steelers team that was otherwise in the middle of an epic collapse. Sure, sure, Tom Brady and company will just flip the switch in the playoffs, because of veteran savvy and they've been here before etc etc etc. They were also

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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