New England coach Bill Belichick says his Patriots have a lot to get ready for with the streaking San Diego Chargers coming up this weekend.
“They have a lot of weapons; they do a lot of things well,” Belichick said Friday as the Patriots neared the end of their week in San Diego.
Slowing Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is among the focal points.
“He’s a great quarterback,” said defensive end Rob Ninkovich, who leads the Patriots with six sacks. “He can make every throw so we just have to do a good job of being on top of all the targets and making sure that we make him uncomfortable.”
That wasn’t the case with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers last Sunday. Rodgers was sacked once as he threw for two touchdowns and 348 yards in the 26-21 win over the Patriots.
“Last week is a completely different story,” Ninkovich said. “That guy can get out of the pocket and he’s more of a scrambling quarterback, and he makes a lot more plays with his feet. (We’re) moving on from last week. Last week was a different game plan, and this week is something different, so we just have to go out there and execute.”
New England (9-3) practiced this week at the University of San Diego, having traveled to Southern California after losing to the Packers.
“We’ve had great cooperation from all people that we’ve worked with,” Belichick said. “It’s been really good.”
The Patriots will likely be without linebacker Chris White (ankle) on Sunday. He didn’t practice on Friday and is listed as doubtful, the only Patriots player expected to miss the game.
The Chargers (8-4) were encouraged by the return of right tackle D.J. Fluker and center Chris Watt; both are questionable.
Fluker didn’t practice Thursday with a concussion. Watt was absent since exiting Sunday’s win over the Baltimore Ravens with a calf injury.
Nose tackle Ryan Carrethers (elbow) is out and will miss his third consecutive game.