Arguably no sports pundit has changed gears on the New England Patriots more this season than Jason Whitlock.

The “Speak for Yourself” co-host got caught up in the Patriots’ early-season struggles and went as far to say it was a “season of destruction” for New England. Whitlock since has publicly issued an apology to head coach Bill Belichick for his bold claim, and now he appears to be firmly on the team’s bandwagon.

This was made clear Friday on FOX Sports 1 when Whitlock picked the Patriots to take down the Los Angeles Chargers in Sunday’s divisional-round matchup at Gillette Stadium. While Philip Rivers has put together one of the better campaigns of his career, Whitlock isn’t buying the Chargers signal-caller as a Super Bowl-hopeful quarterback.

Whether Brady actually is better than Rivers at present is a separate debate, but it’s tough to blame Whitlock for believing the five-time Super Bowl champion will outplay his counterpart this weekend. Brady seems to always elevate his game come playoff time, and the Patriots are an extremely tough out on home turf in January.

And the fact of the matter is, the Patriots likely will need Brady to be the best quarterback on the field Sunday if they have any hope of advancing to their eighth straight AFC Championship Game.