Drink it in, Patriots fans.

In just a few days the muskets will be loaded in Foxborough, and the Patriots will be kicking off their home opener against the Chargers.

But while San Diego never seems to have quite enough in the tank to bring a Super Bowl to SoCal, they always put up a fight against the Pats.

In fact, since 2001, the Patriots are just 3-3 against the Chargers in the regular season — most recently squeaking out a 23-20 win in San Diego last season, nearly blowing a 23-3 fourth-quarter lead.

 

The Bolts went just 9-7 last year, but they led the NFL in total offense (395.6 ypg) and total defense (271.6 ypg).

“Real good football team,” Bill Belichick said yesterday. “They have a lot of good players; they have a lot of good depth. They have some good young players ... So really, they’re pretty strong across the board, and they’re a tough team to get ready for.”

If you thought Chad Henne carved up the Patriots secondary, hold onto your beers. Philip Rivers can throw with the best of them; he’s surpassed 4,000 passing yards three years running.

“Great quarterback and great offensive line, so it’s going to be a tough challenge,” defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth said.

And don’t count on a typically slow start from San Diego.

“I think they’ve gotten off to some slow starts the last few years, but it doesn’t look like they’re starting slow this year,” Brady said. “I think that’s really been a point of emphasis for them. This year you can really see it on film.”

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