Must win? You bet

A challenge? A measuring stick? How about another must win for the San Diego Chargers? A 1-3 record is a far cry from 2-2 and a chance at saving the season.

The Chargers are looking at Sunday's date with the world champion Patriots as an opportunity, not a chore.

If somehow the Chargers could snap New England's 21-game home winning streak, it would mean more than just reaching .500 at 2-2.

"It is just one 'W' and we've got a lot of the season left," linebacker Ben Leber said. "But it's going to speak volumes for this team, this organization and for all our fans. It would be a huge win for our confidence and just for the city."

The Chargers know they let the first two games slip away, unable to hold leads against the Cowboys and Broncos. But they righted themselves Sunday night by pasting the New York Giants and now seem poised to at least be competitive against the Pats.

"We talk all the time that there are few opportunities you have in a football career where you have this type of opportunity to try and end their home winning streak, and do it with the team that we've got," Leber said. "You definitely have to seize the opportunity."

And in sizing up the Patriots, the Chargers are certain that they stack up. But beating them in their new stadium - where they are 25-3 - is another matter.

"We are much more confident," quarterback Drew Brees said, in comparing last year's Chargers team which also opened 1-2. "We've been through a lot more and we have had success and felt what that's like."

It's a feeling the Chargers want to experience again on Sunday. If they do, it would be a sensation well earned.


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