This Week

Chargers at Patriots - AFC Championship January 20, 2008

The New England Patriots host the San Diego Chargers at Gillette Stadium on Sunday at 3 p.m in the AFC Championship game. 

This is the second meeting of the year between these two teams.  New England defeated San Diego 38-14 at Gillette Stadium in Week 2.

The Patriots are 9-0 at the Razor this season and 13-0 against the AFC, including the playoffs. The Chargers, including playoff games are 5-4 on the road this year and 11-3 versus the AFC.

Here are the rosters for the Chargers and Patriots.

The Line/Prediction

As of Wednesday the line on the game from Yahoo Sports is Patriots -14.  The over/under is 46.5.

My prediction is Patriots 28, Chargers, 10.  Give the points and take the under.  I am 9-8 against the spread and have called the over/under thirteen out of seventeen times in 2007.


The Patriots are reporting the game as a sell out.  It is the 149th consecutive sellout dating back to the 1994 season opener.  The record includes preseason, regular season and playoff games.

Getting To The Game

If you’re lucky enough to be going to the game make sure you check out the links.

Here is the up to date weather forecast for the game from The Weather Channel.

ProJo columnist Charles Bakst is a die hard Patriots fan and he has some tips for the cold weather.

Click for stadium directions, parking information, parking map, specific MBTA train times for this game and a Gillette Stadium seating chart.


Here’s a bunch of different tailgating recipes from Tailgaiting America. There’s something there for everyone and every type of meal or snack. I’ve tried some of the recipes and they’re very good and for good measure here is one of my own.

And with tailgating many people enjoy some adult beverages.  With that in mind check out Drink Nation for how to make all sorts of great drinks.  You can look things up by name, ingredient(s) or by theme. 

Whether it’s at the game, a bar or someone’s house moderation is always the key to a great time.  Please don’t drink and drive and designate a sober driver.  Remember You Drink, You Drive, You Lose.



CBS is televising the game to the nation and the play-by-play duties will be handled by Jim Nantz with Phil Simms doing game analysis. You can check here for your local CBS Station.


The Patriots Rock Radio Network broadcasts the game from flagship station WBCN-FM 104.1 in Boston. Gil Santos handles the play-by-play and former Patriot Gino Cappelletti does the color.

It all starts with Gary Tanguay, Scott Zolak, Pete Brock and Andy Gresh and the pregame show at 12 noon along the network.

The post game starts after the final gun and continues for three hours.

If you are outside of the broadcast area of the stations on the Patriots Rock Radio Network you can purchase NFL Field Pass which allows you to listen to any NFL game live. You can also pick which teams broadcasters you want to listen to.

All NFL games are also available on Sirius Satellite Radio. The Patriots radio call is available on Channel 123 and 124, the Jaguars radio call is available on Channel 126 and 181.

The game can be heard nationally on Westwood One. Dave Simms has the play by play, Bob Trumpy will do game analysis and John Dockery is the sideline reporter for the game.

Looking for a pre game and post game report with all the angles?  Well join Comcast Sports Net/New England for a 1 hour pregame show Sunday at 2 P.M. and the complete wrap up immediately after the game.  Check your local cable listings for the channel near you. 

Chargers QB Philip RiversChargers RB LaDainian TomlinsonPatriots cornerback Asante Samuels - Sox & Dawgs file photoPatriots WR Wes Welker - Sox & Dawgs file photo

Last Week

The Patriots beat the Jaguars at home 31-20 in the AFC Divisional Playoff.  The Chargers won their AFC Divisional game at Indianapolis beating the Colts, 28-24. 


This is the second time in the last two seasons the teams have met in the AFC Playoffs.  The Patriots beat the Chargers in San Diego one year ago, 24-21. 

The Patriots also beat the Chargers 38-14 in Week 2 this season. 

This is the 36th meeting between the teams overall, dating back to 1960 the Patriots have a 19-14-2 (12-3 since the merger in 1970) series edge with the teams even at 1-1 in playoff meetings.   In addition to last season’s playoff meeting the two teams met in the 1963 AFL Championship game that San Diego won, 51-10 at Balboa Stadium in San Diego.

The teams have played each other in 9 different stadiums: 

  • L.A. Coliseum
  • Boston University Field
  • Balboa Stadium 
  • Fenway Park 
  • San Diego Stadium (aka Jack Murphy Stadium, Qualcomm Stadium) 
  • Boston College Alumni Stadium 
  • Harvard Stadium 
  • Schaefer Stadium (aka Sullivan Stadium, Foxboro Stadium) 
  • Gillette Stadium


  • Patriots linebacker Junior Seau played for the Chargers for 13 seasons from 1990-2002 and earned 12 consecutive Pro Bowl berths. 
  • Patriots safety Rodney Harrison played for the Chargers for nine seasons from 1994-2002. He earned Pro Bowl berths with San Diego in 1998 and 2001 and was selected as Chargers defensive player of the year four times (1996-97, 2000-01).
  • Patriots guard Stephen Neal was born in San Diego and attended San Diego High School, where he was a five-sport athlete, lettering in football, wrestling, swimming, tennis and track & field.
  • Patriots tight end Kyle Brady and Chargers safety Marlon McCree were teammates while both were with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2001-03.
  • Chargers head coach Norv Turner was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2005, when Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss played for the Raiders.
  • Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss and Chargers offensive lineman Cory Withrow were teammates with the Minnesota Vikings for six seasons from 1999-2004.
  • Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light played with Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips at Purdue from 1999-2000.
  • Chargers wide receiver Kassim Osgood was born in Boston, MA.
  • Chargers defensive end Jacques Cesaire is a native of Gardner, MA. and attended Gardner High School before playing his college ball at Southern Connecticut State University.
  • Chargers linebacker Stephen Cooper is a native of Wareham, MA. and attended Wareham High School before playing his college ball at the University of Maine.
  • Chargers fullback Andrew Pinnock was born in Hartford, CT. and attended Bloomfield High School.  He was named “Mr. Football” in Connecticut in 1998.
  • Chargers quarterbacks coach John Ramsdell attended Springfield College in Springfield, MA.
  • Other News

    Jeff Triplett has been assigned as the referee for the game.  Triplett will be working with an “all-star” crew of officials who have been ranked in the Top 3 in their positions.  Triplett officated one Chargers game (Week 3 at Green Bay) and one Patriots game (Week 1 at New York Jets) this season.

    This is the link to head coach Bill Belichick’s Wednesday press conference on the Chargers. You can also see what San Diego head coach Norv Turner had to say about the game in a conference call with the New England media.

    Here is the injury list for the game.

    14 year old National Punt Pass and Kick winner Anna Grant of Stratham NH will be involved in the coin toss prior to the game.  Her and her family were invited to the game by the Kraft family after Anna was booed by Indianapolis fans for wearing a Patriots jersey on Sunday while the winners were announced on national tv.

    This is Tom Brady’s 126th consecutive start including the playoffs. It is the third longest streak among NFL quarterbacks behind only Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. He is 86-24 in his career during the regular season and 13-2 in the playoffs.  He is 99-26 overall.

    Brady is 3-2 in his career against San Diego.  He is 52-10 at home and 39-2 on artificial turf. 

    Since 1993, the Patriots are 15-1 when the temperature at kickoff is 30 degrees or less.  In those games the Patriots outscore the opponents by a average of 25-12.  Warm weather and dome teams are 1-7 in those games, with Miami being the only warm weather team to have won. 

    Including playoff games, since December 17, 2006 the Patriots are 22-1, since September 10, 2006 they are 31-5.

    Overall the Patriots are 20-12 in the post season as a franchise. 

    The Patriots are the only NFL team to have won at least one playoff game in the last five seasons.

    The Patriots have won 10 consecutive home playoff games and have not lost a home playoff game since December 31, 1978 against the Houston Oilers, 31-14.  Overall the team is 45-9 at home since Gillette Stadium opened in 2002. 

    This is the Patriots 23rd playoff game since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994.  It is the most in the league over this period. 

    The Patriots are 5-1 in AFC Championship games.  2-0 in Foxboro having beaten Jacksonville in 1996 and Indianapolis in 2003.

    Head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady are 3-1 in AFC title games.  This is the Patriots fifth conference championship game appearance this decade, the most in the NFL over that span.

    The Patriots are 23-7 since 2001 when facing a team for the second or third time in a season. 

    Belichick coached teams are 4-4 vs. San Diego (Cleveland 1-2, New England 3-2).

    News from this weeks opponent:

    This is the Chargers first AFC Championship game appearance since the 1994 playoffs when they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-13 on the road to go to Super Bowl XXIX where they were mauled by Steve Young and the San Francisco 49ers, 49-26.

    Chargers QB Philip Rivers may be able to practice by Friday but will most likely be a game time decision and RB LaDainian Tomlinson who was held out of practice on Wednesday feels he will be ready to play.

    The Chargers led the NFL with a +24 turnover differential this season.

    After starting the season 1-3, San Diego rebounded to finish at 11-5 have won 8 games in-a-row including the playoffs.

    The Chargers are one of three non-division teams to have more than one win against Tom Brady, having beaten him twice.  The other teams are Denver (5- losses) and Indianapolis (3- losses). 

    In the final six games of the season the Chargers scored 30.5 points per game while only allowing 12.5 points per game.

    The Chargers LaDainian Tomlinson led the NFL in rushing with 1,474 yards and Antonio Cromartie led the league in interceptions with 10.

    Chargers QB Philip Rivers has never beaten the Patriots he is 0-2 in his career.  Billy Volek has never started against the Patriots.

    The Chargers had the 20th ranked offense and the 14th rated defense in the NFL.

    Norv Turner is 1-2 as a head coach vs. New England (Washington 1-0, Oakland 0-1, San Diego 0-1).

    San Diego is 1-8 in games played in Foxboro.

    Stan Humphries, the only quarterback to lead the Chargers to the Super Bowl, will be the team’s honorary captain on Sunday.

    Just further proof that the Chargers like to talk:

    “Hey who are you filming for NFL Films or the Pats?” ~ Philip Rivers
    to a camera man at practice on Friday before the Colts game.

    And then there’s Igor Olshansky, who got a talking to this week by Turner about keeping it in the vault:

    Who? New England? (scoffs) Seriously, I mean, they’re more worried
    than we are. I promise you. Because uh (scoffs) they know what’s
    up.” ~ Igor Olsansky

    “Take it easy, Champ. Why don’t you sit this next one out, stop talking for a while.”

    Next Week

    The winner of this game faces the winner of the New York Giants/Green Bay Packers game in Super Bowl XLII in Glendale AZ on February 3rd.