Every week leading up to the Patriots' next game, Tedy Bruschi and Mike Reiss dissect the matchup in "Bruschi's Breakdown." This week's breakdown is now posted and Bruschi plays the role of a coach in projecting how the Patriots might game-plan against the Chargers on both sides of the ball.
"It's been notable how Coach Belichick has handled receiving type tight ends in the past, such as Dallas Clark and Kellen Winslow. When you have a tight end like [Antonio Gates], you are accounted for. He uses his front seven to do that at times. Even though Gates might be covered by a safety, there is a 'hammer' call you can use, where a defensive end or outside linebacker disrupts Gates at the line of scrimmage before he gets out into his pattern. You double team with an inside linebacker. The key thing is just making sure he gets hit before he gets off the line. Out of everything, I'd expect that is where Belichick goes first in the game plan."
"Overall, I don't see this Patriots offense saying, 'Let's really establish this run, ground and pound it, and have 35 rushes.' That's just not who they are. They throw the ball to set up the run. BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead will get their carries, but a lot of their success comes from the passing game keeping the defense on their heels, thinking they have to drop back in coverage. I still think to spread this team out, and focus on the passing game is the way to go. But one factor to consider is that the Patriots usually don't show the same thing two weeks in a row, as they are a game-plan offense."