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Patriots-Chargers matchup of the day: Tuesday

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Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain

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Posted Sept. 13, 2011 @ 9:32 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

Here's a matchup to watch in the Patriots Week Two game against the Chargers:

Patriots QB Tom Brady vs. Chargers secondary

Clearly, Brady hasn't lost a step. The reigning MVP threw for a team-record 517 yards and four scores in the Patriots' Week One win over the Dolphins. He will get a much tougher test against the Chargers, last year's top-ranked passing defense.

Anchored by CBs Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason and safeties Eric Weddle and Bob Sanders, the Chargers held Vikings QB Donovan McNabb to 39 passing yards in Week One.

In a 23-20 win last season over San Diego, Brady threw for just 159 yards and a touchdown. The Chargers obviously watched what Brady did on Monday night and will be putting a fair amount of emphasis this week on keeping him in check. One way to do it is to put pressure on Brady, something the Dolphins couldn't do. Look for Weddle and Sanders to help keep Brady's tight ends in check, as well.

When Brady throws like he did in Week One, the Patriots are not going to lose many games. The Chargers have a new defensive coordinator, but much of the same personnel is still there. They were a 50-yard field goal away from going to OT with the Pats last season, and if they want to keep it close in Foxborough, they will need to stop Brady.

For the Patriots, it will likely be the first test to see how the Patriots adapt if the passing game struggles as it did in San Diego last season. If Brady is able to attack the Chargers' secondary as he did Miami's, then the Patriots will be on their way to 2-0.

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