Shannon Sharpe is well aware of the challenge the Los Angeles Chargers face Sunday afternoon, but the “Undisputed” host believes the Bolts are up to the task.
The Chargers punched their tickets to a divisional-round date with the New England Patriots after taking down the Ravens in Baltimore on Wild Card Weekend. And despite the Patriots’ dominance at Gillette Stadium and the force that is Tom Brady, Sharpe believes the Chargers will advance to their first AFC Championship Game since the 2007-08 campaign.
Sharpe might be underestimating the Patriots’ pass rush. While New England’s front seven isn’t vaunted by any stretch, the unit grew stronger as the season progressed. In fact, the Patriots are averaging nearly two and a half sacks per game since Week 10, and there’s reason to believe they could make an impact against a Los Angeles offensive line that is average at best.
And while the Chargers’ offense undoubtedly is strong, Sharpe might be giving them the benefit of the doubt in believing they’ll amass 28-plus points. Only one visiting team eclipsed the 28-point threshold at Gillette in the regular season: the No. 1-seeded Kansas City Chiefs. The rest of the field averaged just under 13 points. Not to mention, the Patriots only have allowed five 28-plus point performances in 22 home playoff games dating back to 2001.
The Chargers very well could leave Foxboro with a win Sunday, as strange things often happen in January football. But Sharpe might be a little too confident in his prediction.