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Patriots-Chargers matchup of the day: Thursday

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Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain

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Posted Oct. 21, 2010 @ 4:28 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

Here's a matchup to watch in the Week Seven game between the Patriots and Chargers:

Patriots WR Wes Welker vs. Chargers CB Donald Strickland

Strickland, and seventh-year veteran, usually picks up the slot receiver, and Welker is one of the best slot receivers in the league. He leads the Patriots this season with 33 receptions and three receiving TDs. Through six games, Strickland has two passes defensed this season in the Chargers' top-ranked passing defense.

Welker had seven catches for 53 yards in his first game without WR Randy Moss there to grab the attention of opposing secondaries. But that allowed WR Deion Branch to have a big game (9-98-1).

If Welker can avoid double-teams and beat Strickland often, the Patriots' passing game will be hard to slow down, even for the Chargers. Forcing the Chargers mid-game to shut down Welker will open up things for Branch, WR Brandon Tate and TE Aaron Hernandez.


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