L.A. Chargers (13-4) at New England (11-5)
When: Noon CST Sunday TV: CBS
Opening line: Patriots by 5 Series record: Patriots lead 24-15-2 Last meeting: Patriots beat Chargers, 21-13, Oct. 29, 2017 Last week: Chargers beat Ravens, 23-17; Patriots had bye, beat Jets 38-3 on Dec. 30 Notes: Just fourth playoff meeting between teams, with Patriots holding 2-1 edge. ... New England’s victory in AFC championship game during 2007 season was its final victory before having perfect season blemished in Super Bowl loss to Giants. ... Chargers beat Patriots 51-10 in AFL championship game to end 1963 season . ... Chargers QB Philip Rivers will be 37 years, 36 days old on Sunday and Patriots QB Tom Brady will be 41 years, 163 days old. The 28,688 days old are oldest combined age by opposing starting quarterbacks in playoff game in NFL history . ... Chargers are coming off first playoff victory since 2013 season . ... Los Angeles is 8-1 as road team this season . ... Chargers ended regular season ranked third in yards per play (6.3) and tied for sixth in points per game (26.8) . ... Rivers enters Sunday’s game with 1-7 record against Patriots, including 0-4 in games in Foxborough and 0-2 in playoffs. Rivers earned lone victory against New England during 2008 regular season when Chargers were still in San Diego. Brady was sidelined for that game by knee injury and Matt Cassel started in his place . ... LA’s leading rusher Melvin Gordon (885 yards, 10 TDs during regular season) is dealing with knee injury sustained during wildcard win over Ravens . ... DE Melvin Ingram leads Los Angeles with seven sacks . ... Patriots coach Bill Belichick has most playoff experience (39 games) and postseason wins (28) among head coaches in NFL history . ... Patriots ranked fourth in scoring offense (27.3 ppg) and tied for sixth in scoring defense (20.3 ppg allowed) . ... Brady has played against Chargers eight times in regular season and twice in postseason. He’s 2-0 in playoffs and 6-2 in regular-season meetings . ... Brady has completed 67 percent of passes with 15 TDs and five INTs during regular-season meetings with Chargers. In playoff games against Chargers he’s completed 58 percent of throws with four TDs and six INTs . ... DE Trey Flowers leads New England with 7 ½ sacks. Safety Duron Harmon leads team with four INTs.
Patriots QB Tom Brady