Pats Charging Forward

We’ve got our latest BSMW Game Day Roundtable posted, with the panel’s opinions on all things Chargers/Patriots.

John Tomase examines the Patriots success against young QB’s over the last few years, and what they might have in store for Philip Rivers. Mike Reiss has a piece on Mike Vrabel, as the versatile linebacker has been battling the pain of injuries all season long, but continues on because of his love for the game.

Alan Greenberg looks at the year Tom Brady has had after the Patriots cheaped out and didn’t bring back his top receivers from a year ago. Hector Longo notes that the Patriots new receivers are catching on at the right time. Michael Parente looks at one of those receivers, Jabar Gaffney, who has stepped up into a bigger role as of late. Mark Farinella has more on Gaffney making a name for himself with the Patriots.

Michael Felger breaks down the Patriots/Chargers matchups. Shalise Manza Young examines how the preparation for this game has gone this week. Dan Pires notes the Patriots success on the road this season has them in the right mindset for this game.

Tony Massarotti thinks that the Patriots are going to lose, and possibly lose big, since San Diego’s overall team is better than the Patriots combo of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Jim Donaldson says that Tom Brady is the best pro athlete we’ve had in New England in 30 years, better than Pedro, Clemens, Bourque, Yaz or ….Larry Bird.

Christopher L Gasper examines the Patriots defensive line, a group that is the starting point for the Patriots defense, and for their game plan against the Chargers this weekend. Christopher Price looks at the Patriots trying to replace the toughness that Rodney Harrison brings to their lineup and locker room.

Reiss’ notebook has Rodney Harrison’s agent disputing the report that his client suffered a partially torn ACL. Breer’s notebook observes that the Jets, under Brian Schottenheimer, play a similar style to what the Chargers will use this weekend. Young’s notebook has a look at the improvements made by Tully Banta-Cain this season. Jennifer Toland’s notebook has a look at the Chargers 4th quarter dominance, and then a few Patriots items. Pires’s notebook has more from Merriman. Parente’s notebook has Brady and Schottenheimer mending fences. Eric McHugh’s notebook has more on this topic. Farinella’s notebook has more on the Patriots comfort level on the road.

Chargers

Bob Ryan looks at the pressure that Marty Schottenheimer is under, though he might not even feel it. It may not be fair, but if the Chargers were to lose, it’s Marty’s fault. Karen Guregian looks at Schottenheimer’s previous life as a Patriots linebacker way back in the day.

Karen Guregian says that not much has fazed Philip Rivers this season, and he’s not going to start getting worked up now. Tom King and Jeff Howe have more on Rivers. Jennifer Toland has a look at the Chargers defense, led by Shawne Merriman, who will be focused on getting to Tom Brady. Chris Kennedy says that the Chargers do use some strategy with Merriman when rushing the passer. Eric McHugh says that the Patriots are well aware of the skills and power of Merriman.

Mark Blaudschun has another look at LaDainian Tomlinson, who knows he will be the focal point of the Patriots defense on Sunday. Shawn Courchesne says that Tomlinson could be the best back in the history of the game.

Blaudschun’s notebook has the Chargers key to the game being their ability to get to Tom Brady. Guregian’s notebook has linebacker Shaun Phillips content to take a backseat to Shawne Merriman when it comes to attention and the spotlight.

Check in with what’s being said around the Chargers with the following links:

Jim McCabe has a profile on Ravens center Mike Flynn, who hails from Agawam, Mass., and the University of Maine.

McCabe’s notebook has Jonathan Ogden gearing up for the challenge of slowing down Dwight Freeney.

David Scott has a look at the “Night Before” Hot Stove, Cool Music event from last Saturday and some advice for Bill Simmons as he steps into the broadcast booth for the first time.

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