The New England Patriots can officially put self-scouting in the rearview and focus on their next opponent. The Los Angeles Chargers pulled the road upset, beating the Baltimore Ravens in the Sunday’s Wild Card game. With the six-seed Indianapolis Colts taking down the Houston Texans on Saturday, that leaves the five-seed Chargers as the highest seed remaining from Wild Card Weekend. The Patriots and Chargers will face off at 1:05 next Sunday for the third game of the NFL Divisional Round and the second of the AFC Divisional Round.
New England Patriots to Face Los Angeles Chargers in AFC Divisional Round
The Baltimore Ravens made it interesting near the end, but the Chargers ultimately managed to prevail. Baltimore entered the fourth quarter with just three first downs all game, and even had negative passing yardage at one time. However, two late touchdown passes from Lamar Jackson made it a 23-17 game with two minutes to play. Jackson had a chance to lead a game-winning drive, but the Chargers defense forced a last-second fumble to seal the game.
The Patriots have historically had the advantage in this matchup. Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is 0-76 in his career against the Tom Brady–led Patriots, with the last game coming back in 2017. New England won that matchup, 21-13, as the Patriots moved to 6-2 on the season. The Patriots defense held Rivers to 212 yards, one touchdown and an interception.
The Patriots and Chargers have met twice in the postseason, although both matchups are over a decade old. Back in 2007, the Patriots beat the Chargers in the AFC Championship Game to advance to 18-0 and earn a trip to Super Bowl XLII. The game wasn’t a banner night for Brady, who finished with 209 passing yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions. Rivers, playing on an injured knee, was even worse, finishing his night with 211 passing yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions.
Despite having the worse record, the New England Patriots host the divisional round thanks to winning the AFC East. New England is currently undefeated at home, going 8-0 with victories over playoff teams such as the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, and Kansas City Chiefs.