Below are 10 quick-hitting insights ahead of the Chargers' Week 8 matchup against the New England Patriots:
1) The Chargers' are seeking their first win against the Patriots since a 30-10 victory in Week 6 of the 2008 season. Philip Rivers – who outdueled Matt Cassel – threw for 306 yards and three touchdowns. Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones was 10 years old.
2) Jones will be the first starting rookie quarterback Los Angeles has faced this season. The last was also a former signal caller from Alabama, now playing in the AFC East: Miami's Tua Tagovailoa in Week 10 of the 2020 season.
3) In Brandon Staley's first six games with the Chargers, five of the opposing head coaches have either won or appeared in a Super Bowl. New England's Bill Belichick makes it six of seven this Sunday.
4) Belichick will coach against Chargers rookie cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. this Sunday. Samuel Jr.'s father – Asante Samuel Sr. – played five seasons at cornerback under Belichick in New England, winning two Super Bowls in three appearances. Samuel Sr. was an All-Pro for the Patriots in 2007. The season before, he notched a career-high 10 interceptions.
5) Week 8 marks the return of tight end Hunter Henry to Los Angeles. In five seasons with the Chargers, Henry caught 196 passes for 2,322 yards and 21 touchdowns. In New England, Henry has 24 catches for 264 yards and four touchdowns – one in each of the last four games.
6) The combination of Chargers tight ends Jared Cook and Donald Parham Jr. have 28 receptions for 310 yards and four touchdowns entering Week 8. Cook scored Los Angeles' lone touchdown in Week 6 against the Ravens.
7) Kicker Dustin Hopkins and kick/punt returner Andre Roberts are set to make their Chargers debut against the Patriots. Roberts has been a Pro Bowler in each of the last three seasons. Hopkins has converted 84 percent of his career field goal attempts (163-of-194) and 94.2 percent of his extra point attempts (179-of-190).
8) Los Angeles' last matchup against the Patriots ended in a 45-0 loss at SoFi Stadium – the team's worst performance of 2020. After that game, the Chargers closed the season with four straight wins, including three in the division.
9) The Chargers' first-ever game on Halloween was in 1965, coincidentally against the Boston Patriots – a 22-6 loss, per Pro Football Reference.
10) Around the AFC West in Week 8: Las Vegas (5-2) has a bye; Denver (3-4) hosts Washington; and Kansas City (3-4) hosts the Giants. A win against New England puts Los Angeles back atop the AFC West at 5-2 with an early tiebreaker over the Raiders.
Check out the best photos from the Bolts Thursday practice at Hoag Performance Center.
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