New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the San Diego Chargers have never played the New England Chargers, but that doesn’t mean the two teams aren’t fighting for a playoff spot.
The teams have played in three consecutive playoff games, and the Chargers are on the verge of clinching a playoff berth after defeating the New York Jets 27-24 in overtime Sunday.
San Diego has a four-game winning streak and is 10-0 against the Patriots, including a pair of blowout wins over Brady and Philip Rivers last season.
The Chargers’ win Sunday came despite two of the Patriots’ top receivers — tight end Jacob Tamme and cornerback Logan Ryan — missing time with injuries.
Both players are expected to be back for Sunday’s game.
In all, the Chargers have lost four games by a combined score of 110-57.
They have won five of their past six meetings with the Patriots.
In the previous two meetings, the Patriots were held to field goals and failed to convert on their first three tries.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the New Orleans Saints were each sacked for touchdowns in Sunday’s 38-20 victory over the Raiders.
The 49ers had only eight sacks in the first three games and finished with a defensive efficiency of just 45.6.
The Saints are 6-1 when leading at halftime and have won eight of their last 10.
They had to punt four times in the second half of Sunday’s loss to Oakland.
They are 1-5 in those contests.
The Raiders were 0-5 when leading.
New England has been without defensive end Olivier Vernon, who is out for the season after tearing his Achilles tendon in Week 13.
The Patriots are also without quarterback Tom Savage, who tore his ACL in Week 14.
Rookie cornerback Aaron Dobson and receiver Josh Boyce have combined for 11 catches for 137 yards.
Boyce caught four of the seven passes thrown his way in Sunday night’s game and was targeted five times.
Rookie running back Alvin Kamara had a career-high 16 carries for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Kamara was also targeted four times.
Kamaras best day came against the Eagles, who lost 27-17 at Philadelphia on Sept. 27.
Kamars best game came against Carolina, where he ran for 139 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown and a pair.
Kamarinas first carry came in the third quarter on the first play of the game.
He had seven carries for 44 yards on the drive.
Kamranas best game against the 49ers came in Week 15.
He ran for 82 yards on 17 carries with two touchdowns and one catch for 10 yards.