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Will Brady break the single-season TD record?

Our experts offer insight on whether Tom Brady will break Peyton Manning's single-season TD pass record, the Chargers' turnaround and the Bears' problems on D:

Will Tom Brady break Peyton Manning's single-season TD record?

Merrill Hoge: Yes and it's not just because of the offensive weapons that he now has at his disposal. We're seeing the evolution of Brady as a quarterback in terms of his throws, reads and progressions. He's always been judicious with the football and rarely made mistakes that could hurt his team, but now he's processing the information in front of him at a level we haven't seen from him before. There is no letup in this guy and I fully expect him to have this record by the end of the season.

Eric Allen: No, this is a record that you have to really want and focus on to get and I don't think it matters that much to Brady. He's the consummate team player and late in the season this team is probably going to have homefield advantage and everything locked up already and I fully expect the Patriots to start focusing on their weaknesses such as the running game. By then Laurence Maroney should be fully recovered from his injury and the Patriots will start trying to get him fully involved in the game plan to make sure he's completely ready for the playoffs.

Are the Chargers re-emerging as a contender?

Hoge: The Chargers are returning to that elite level of AFC teams because the linebackers are being cut loose to cause havoc and LaDainian Tomlinson has returned to form. The only flaw with this team is the play of Philip Rivers. He's making too many mental mistakes and is costing his team. They need him to play at a higher level if they are to have any chance of beating the top teams in the league.

Allen:I'm hesitant to say this team is fully back as a contender due to the play of Philip Rivers, but they are on the cusp. Of course all the blame for their early-season stumbles can't be laid at the feet of Rivers as the defense seemed to go through a serious adjustment period before finally starting to play with the consistent ferocity we're used to seeing. The Chargers do have the ability and talent to play with the big boys in the NFL, but they have to get Rivers playing consistently and work out some issues with the secondary.

What's wrong with the Bears' D?

Hoge: This is a twofold problem. One, the Bears are sorely missing safety Mike Brown, who went down early this season. He was one of the catalysts and playmakers of this team. Secondly, this team isn't getting the performance it is used to from the defensive line. Last season the D-line did a great job of taking up space and occupying blockers, which in turn allowed the linebackers to roam free and make big plays. Now offensive linemen are getting to the linebackers and stopping them from having the same type of effect on the game.

Allen: The problem with the Bears lies in the absence of Brown from the lineup. He's one of the best safeties in the game and does a phenomenal job within the Bears' system. He is a great run-stopping safety who helps take away the cutback lane from opposing running backs. Without him, the lack of depth at the position is exposed and this team has been paying the price as it attempts to defend the run.