We're on to the divisional round in the NFL playoffs and, despite a near late-game collapse, the Los Angeles Chargers are through and preparing for a trip to New England to play the Patriots.
The Chargers are in prime position to make a Super Bowl run thanks to their outstanding defense and veteran quarterback, but if that is going to happen they'll need to make it past Philip Rivers' ultimate enemy: Thomas Edward Brady.
Tom Brady is 7-0 against Philip Rivers including the playoffs.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 7, 2019
That's tied for the 3rd-best record in quarterback matchups in the Super Bowl era. pic.twitter.com/sbg2KUYHq1
Philip Rivers has never beaten Tom Brady in a head-to-head matchup and is 0-2 when they face off in the playoffs. Those games include a 24-21 loss to New England in 2006 and a 21-12 loss in 2007 when Rivers was playing on one leg. So while he's yet to beat Brady, the games have been close.
Rivers did beat the Patriots once, but it was in 2008 when Tom Brady was injured and Matt Cassell was the starting quarterback. So officially he's 1-7 against the Patriots, but 0-7 against Brady. Brady is 8-2 all-time against the Chargers franchise but both of his losses came against Drew Brees, not Rivers.
In the two previous playoff games, Rivers threw for 3 interceptions and no touchdowns while completing 48 percent of his passes. He'll have to do significantly better than that if he wants to finally get past Brady. But overall this is not a great trend for anyone thinking about Chargers +4.5 right now, but conversely, it's been 12 years since they played in the playoffs and a lot has changed since then.
Still, the Patriots haven't lost their first playoff game since 2010 and it's only happened two times in Brady's career, so when the Chargers march into Gillette Stadium on Sunday, Rivers will be trying to end not just his own personal streak, but a few Patriots ones as well.
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Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username itmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.