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Patriots-Chargers matchup of the day: Wednesday

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Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain

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Posted Sept. 14, 2011 @ 10:17 a.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

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

Chargers OLB Shaun Phillips vs. Patriots OLT Matt Light

The Patriots' offensive line is one of the best at protecting its quarterback, but it also helps that Tom Brady gets rid of the ball pretty quickly. In Week One against the Dolphins, New England gave up just one sack, although each tackle, Nate Solder and Light, picked up a holding penalty.

Phillips is the Chargers' best pass rusher, and he got to Brady once in last season's meeting. On 2nd-and-6 in from the Chargers' six-yard line in the second quarter, Phillips sacked Brady, who was sacked again on the next play. The Patriots settled for a field goal.

The Chargers put Brady on his back four times in the Week Seven game, more than any Patriots opponent.

Phillips will most often go after Light, the veteran blind-side tackle who was a Pro Bowler last season. Phillips is the type of pass rusher that Light can struggle against, though, due to Phillips' speed.

Brady's ability to sling it quickly can usually make up for a disadvantage on his O-line. If Phillips and the Chargers can get to him at the rate they did last season, though, the Patriots' offense will have to adapt.

 

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