LA Chargers: Five keys to beating Bill Belichick’s Patriots

4 of 5
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

4. Hunter Henry’s presence must be felt

Hunter Henry has certainly gotten Belichick’s attention. He’s been watching the star tight end for a long time:

Belichick: (Hunter) Henry continues to be a complete and really good football player.

Said he’s been watching Henry throughout his career dating back to when he played at Pulaski Academy.

— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) December 2, 2020

Henry has come alive in the last two games against the Jets and Bills. It just feels like he’s been more active in the red zone and has had better presence. In the last three games, Henry has 15 catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns. This is without a doubt his best stretch of football since very early on in the season.

Having a presence in the game doesn’t necessarily mean that Henry has to put up some ridiculous stats or fill a quota. Drawing Patriots defenders to help some of the wideouts can be huge. Other than Keenan Allen, most Chargers’ receivers are struggling to get separation right now.

Tyron Johnson and Jalen Guyton get their deep balls once in a while, but they haven’t showed consistent route running prowess. While Mike Williams is better than those two, I don’t think he’s had the best year either in terms of getting separation.

The Patriots will obviously try to limit Ekeler and Allen. Those are the two that annoy almost every defensive coordinator. Henry has to continue to stick with that group for the other Chargers’ receivers down the depth chart to be able to do their thing.

Feed him in the red zone as well considering his budding relationship with Herbert in recent games. A big Henry game isn’t a necessity, but it would help open up the offense quite a bit.