The New England Patriots came up short in their most recent bid to get a Lombardi Trophy almost one year before, and while they are back into the playoff picture, yet another first-round bye week at the books, they have perhaps the most talented team in the AFC standing in their own way. With a visit to the conference championship at stake, the Los Angeles Chargers are place to stop by Fox borough that Sunday, and they have something on their heads: Preventing what has been done countless times before and halting the Pats from another run.
On paper, the 2018 year was business as normal to the Patriots, who have appeared at a whopping eight of the previous 17 Super Bowls supporting the perennially prominent pairing of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Unbelievably, nevertheless, that mark was their worst in nearly a decade, and while they went undefeated in the home, they lost a set of late-season heartbreakers and have occasionally struggled to keep consistency in the passing game.
The Chargers, meanwhile, seem as the better team in case you are going off gift. Yet they are also about as opposite as the Pats as might be when it comes to playoff background, since the Chargers have progressed beyond the Divisional Round only once since 1994.
On Sunday, L.A. will get its chance at postseason salvation — and a route to long-awaited Rivers glory, although the Patriots will get their opportunity to demonstrate that their dynasty stays alive also.
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How to watch
Date: Sunday, Jan. 13
Time: 1:05 p.m. ET
Location: Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Massachusetts)
Stream: Stream on CBS All Access, The nfl game
Follow: CBS Sports App