Technically the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Chargers have never actually played each other before this Sunday’s game ... under their current names at least.
But we all know that in reality, the rivalry runs far deeper as the team formerly-known as the San Diego Chargers has had a colorful history with our beloved Pats.
The Chargers started out life in Los Angeles in 1960, but the following year they moved 120 miles south to San Diego, where they stayed until a somewhat controversial announcement last January sent them back to L.A. to share the city’s fan base with the Rams.
Sadly there’ll be no Hollywood trips for Gronk and the Patriots this year at least, as they host the Chargers in Foxboro.
The game will actually mark the 41st time the two franchises have met, including three postseason match-ups. The last time the Pats faced the Bolts, they stomped out a 26-10 win in Qualcomm Stadium in 2014.
The Chargers haven’t been to Gillette since 2011 – when of course, the Patriots again won. With Tom Brady as the quarterback, the Pats are 7-2 against the Chargers and 6-0 opposite Philip Rivers.
Rivers and his long-suffering Chargers got off to a rocky start in their temporary home of the StubHub Center in Carson, California, going 0-4 at the beginning of the season. But since then they’ve won the last three of their games and have seen a renewed resurgence among both the players and the fans.
So don’t go overlooking the Chargers – there’s still lightening under those horses’ hooves.
With Dont’a Hightower possibly out for the rest of the season, the Pats are going to have to go with the “next man up” once again – in this case, possibly Kyle Van Noy or David Harris.
(Photo above by Debbie Emery)