New England Patriots

Make way, everybody, there’s another paranoid opponent coming to Foxboro.

Of course, there’s nothing new about this. From Mike Tomlin’s epic and vocal frustrations with hearing Scott Zolak in his ear instead of his coordinators back in the day to Texans cornerback Aaron Colvin getting upset about a potential non-catch his own coach screwed his team out of challenging, it seems everybody’s spooked by the time they arrive to Gillette Stadium.

But this postseason, the honor of incredibly paranoid opponent goes to Chargers offensive lineman Russell Okung, who doesn’t believe that the National Football League wants his team to go “home” in the sense the Chargers would prefer.

“Roger Goodell doesn’t want us to come home,” Okung, a Super Bowl champion with the Seattle Seahawks in 2014, said after Sunday’s 23-17 Wild Card win over the Baltimore Ravens. “That’s all I can say.”

Now, it’s worth mentioning that Okung’s complaints do not seem centered around any sort of Foxboro trickery.

It’s instead based around what he considers to be iffy-at-best penalties called (and at critical times) against the Chargers for the second time in just three weeks.¬†Okung’s most recent complaint comes after he was flagged for a hold against the Ravens’ Tony Jefferson, which negated an 11-yard run that resulted in a first down that likely would have put the Ravens to bed without a sweat. This also happened to Okung in the Chargers’ 22-10 loss to the Ravens in the regular season, but had more damaging results, as a fumble on that same drive allowed the Ravens to put the game away.

That latter loss ultimately doomed the Chargers’ hopes of hosting a playoff game at their 27,000-seat soccer stadium, instead sending them on the road, where two 10 a.m. local time games await them.

The veteran Okung could be in for a rough week if the trends hold, too, as the Patriots were called for a league-low 40 penalties on home turf this season, while the Chargers average the 14th-most penalties per game on the road this season.

But if Okung is indeed onto something, at least the Patriots have Goodell on their side for once.