Pro Football weekly

Comment | Print |

Patriots-Chargers matchup of the day: Thursday

About the Author

Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain

Dolphins snag former Ravens LB Ellerbe

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 5:59 p.m.

Broncos sign former Chargers OG Vasquez

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 5:20 p.m.

Dolphins land WR Wallace

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 5:13 p.m.

Bills release QB Fitzpatrick

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 4:48 p.m.

Eagles release CB Asomugha

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 3:58 p.m.

Related Stories

Broncos sign former Chargers OG Vasquez

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 5:20 p.m.

San Diego Chargers: 2013 team needs

Posted March 08, 2013 @ 9:30 p.m.

New England Patriots: 2013 team needs

Posted March 08, 2013 @ 5:58 p.m.

Chargers release veteran LB Spikes

Posted March 07, 2013 @ 10:30 a.m.

Redskins hire A.J. Smith as senior executive

Posted March 06, 2013 @ 11:06 a.m.

With Brady deal, Pats again a step ahead

Posted Feb. 26, 2013 @ 11:38 a.m.

Patriots sign Brady to extension through 2017

Posted Feb. 26, 2013 @ 10:42 a.m.

Report: Patriots OT Vollmer has knee scope

Posted Feb. 22, 2013 @ 10:09 a.m.

Chargers still confident in RB Mathews

Posted Feb. 21, 2013 @ 3:25 p.m.

Chargers claim CB Patrick

Posted Feb. 20, 2013 @ 6:05 p.m.
Posted Sept. 15, 2011 @ 7:21 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

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

Patriots TEs Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez vs. Chargers safeties Eric Weddle, Bob Sanders and Steve Gregory

If Tom Brady doesn't want to target an opponent's cornerbacks, he doesn't have to. It helps that he has two of the league's best receiving tight ends in the league in Groknowski and Hernandez.

Gronkowski is the big target who is a beast near the goal line. He is also one of the team's main run blockers. Hernandez has the versatility to line up in the slot and is very good in space.

The pair combined for 13 catches for 189 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots' season-opening win against the Dolphins. When the Chargers shut down the Patriots' passing attack in last year's meeting, Hernandez still led the team with five catches for 54 yards, and Gronkowski had two catches for 10 yards and a score.

The Chargers have a stout defensive backfield, and while their safeties might not have the size to match up with the Patriots' tight ends, they are hard-hitting, instinctive safeties. ILB Kevin Burnett is gone, so Donald Butler could also get some snaps covering a tight end.

Should CBs Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason lock down the Pats' wideouts, Brady will rely heavily on Gronkowski and Hernandez, meaning the young pair will have to create separation and keep the safeties from making plays.

Comments ()