It’s 28-7 Patriots as I write this midway though the second quarter, and New England is taking apart the Chargers defense that looked so impressive in last week’s win over Baltimore. But what works against Lamar Jackson doesn’t work against Tom Brady.
The Chargers came out sporting the same zone defense, with seven defensive backs and four pass rushers, and none of these things have ever, ever worked against Brady in his career. Brady is known for picking apart zones, and the Chargers’ d-backs seem entirely unprepared for that—or for the constant passes to running backs that are another hallmark of Patriots offenses. On the other hand, Brady has struggled with blitzes this year—and the Chargers aren’t showing any.
The third touchdown, a 17-yarder to a wide open Phillip Dorsett, was a perfect example of the breakdown in coverage. With Dorsett and Julian Edelman stacked, there was confusion between CBs Desmond King II and Casey Hayward Jr. over who was to cover whom. It looked like King was originally on Dorsett and tried to switch with Hayward, only both jumped Edelman.
With six minutes still left in the second quarter, Brady is 16 of 20 for 183 yards. If Gus Bradley doesn’t soon give up on what definitely hasn’t been working, this will be over quickly. It might already be.