BOSTON (CBS) — After watching the Los Angles Chargers beat the Baltimore Ravens on wild card weekend, the work was just beginning for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Feeling some “intense pressure” to study up on the Chargers for this weekend’s upcoming divisional round matchup, Brady started a cram session that would put college students to shame.
It began immediately after Los Angeles dispatched the Ravens on Sunday afternoon, and lasted well into Monday morning.
“I had a lot of film to watch, and I was up pretty late,” Brady said during his weekly interview with WEEI on Monday morning. “This is the biggest week of the year for me. You can’t watch enough film on weeks like this. You can’t get enough rest. You can’t get enough treatment, get enough training, or get enough practice. It’s all about what we have to do to be at our best for the biggest three hours of the season when that ball kicks off.”
Brady got a great look at the Los Angeles defense on Sunday, a unit that sacked rookie QB Lamar Jackson seven times and forced four fumbles (recovering two) while also picking off a pass. Brady knows the New England offensive line will have their hands full with defensive ends Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, who combined for three of those seven sacks on Sunday,
“They are committed at all levels. They have great pass rushers in Bosa and Ingram. They are stout against the run, [Brandon] Mebane, being one of the best run defenders we’ve ever played against. Again, I think their scheme presents some problems because they have a lot of team speed,” said Brady. “They have a lot of those smaller guys playing at the linebacker level and then they’ve got a great secondary.
“It’s a very good team. They are good on special teams, and obviously on offense. They can keep up with any offense in the league,” Brady continued with his scouting report. “We’re going to have to be able to have a great complementary game. There’s no one phase of our team that is going to be able to carry us. It is going to take every player, every coach on the roster to pull this one out.”
Much will be made about the quarterback matchup in this one, with a 41-year-old Brady going against 37-year-old Philip Rivers. Brady is 7-0 in his career against Rivers, including a pair of playoffs victories. The last time they squared off in the postseason was in the 2007 AFC Championship Game in Foxboro, when the then-undefeated Patriots snuck out a close victory over the then-San Diego Chargers. Rivers threw for just 211 yards and a pair of picks in the loss, but did so on a bad knee, earning loads of respect around the league.
“I remember in ’07 he was playing on a torn ACL, in the cold weather, and he’s still firing dimes out there. He has all the talent in the world,” Brady said of Rivers.
Brady and the Patriots have not lost in the divisional round since 2010, and have not lost a home playoff game since the 2012 AFC title game.
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Chargers divisional round clash on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots! Coverage begins Friday night with Patriots All Access at 7 p.m., and kicks off on Sunday with a special hour-long edition of Patriots GameDay at 11 a.m.! We’ll break it all down and hear from Bill Belichick and Tom Brady LIVE on Patriots 5th Quarter on WBZ-TV after the game!