TV: NBC (Al Michaels and John Madden) NBC (Al Michaels and John Madden)
Radio: New England regional: WBCN (104.1); San Diego regional: KIOZ (105.3); National: Westwood One, SIRIUS channels 122 and 126
Series: Patriots lead 18-14-2
Last meetings: New England won 24-21 in San Diego in last season's Divisional playoffs (January 14, 2007). The Chargers won the last regular season meeting, 41-17 at Gillette Stadium (October 2, 2005).
Last week: The New England Patriots won at the New York Jets 38-14. Tom Brady threw for 297 yards and 3 touchdowns, Randy Moss had 183 yards receiving (his 3rd highest career total) and 1 touchdown, and Ellis Hobbs had a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, the longest in NFL history. The San Diego Chargers beat the Chicago Bears at home 14-3. LaDainian Tomlinson was held to 25 yards rushing on 17 carries, but threw a 17-yard touchdown pass. The San Diego defense recovered 3 fumbles and had 1 interception.
The Patriots finally get to put this week's controversy behind them and take the field against one of the best teams in the league. After a dominating performance against the Jets last week, their first true test against on of the league's elite comes in their home opener.
The Chargers opened the season by beating the NFC's best team and now travel across the country for another marquee match-up. They are also looking to avenge last season's home playoff loss at the hands of the Patriots.
While the Patriots were stellar in all three phases against the Jets, the Chargers relied on their defense against the Bears. The Patriots and Chargers clash in one of the premier match-ups of the season.
2007 season statistics
New England on offense: Yards per game 431.0 (5); Rushing 134.0 (11); Passing 297.0 (4);
New England on defense: Yards per game 227.0 (7); Rushing 60.0 (4); Passing 167.0 (10)
San Diego on offense: Yards per game 263.0 (22); Rushing 77.0 (24); Passing 186.0 (17);
San Diego on defense: Yards per game 202.0 (3); Rushing 80.0 (10); Passing 122.0 (5)
Notes: The Patriots have won five straight home openers
The Chargers were 4-0 in night games last season and have now won 11 straight regular season games
Tom Brady is 24-2 as a starter on artificial turf
The Patriots are 36-9 at Gillette Stadium since it opened in 2002, the 2nd best home record in the NFL during that span (Indianapolis is 37-9)
LaDainian Tomlinson moved into 6th place on the NFL's all-time rushing touchdown list last week (101); he is also 12th on the all-time touchdowns list with 112
Darren is a regular contributor to Patriots Insider. You can find him in the forums under the name: DestinationSuperBowl. You can also find archives of his columns on the Insiders by searching for "Darren Kelly"