By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Shawne Merriman is doing one of the bravest things a person can do in sports media. He's saying the Patriots have no chance to win.
Obviously Merriman was going to pick his former team, who famously lost to the Pats in the 2006 divisional round in a year where Merriman was a defensive player of the year-caliber player. The Pats also mocked his "lights out" dance after the win and LaDainian Tomlinson was none too pleased.
Well, Merriman is taking it a step further and declaring that the Chargers are pretty much guaranteed a win on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
"They’re a lock for me this week," Merriman told Colin Cowherd on FOX Sports 1. "I just feel like they're a lock, because the Patriots — yeah, you have Bill Belichick, you have Tom Brady there, but they’re not the same team they were in the past. They’re just not. They don’t bring that kind of stamp to the field anymore. I know they’ve been in the playoffs, they have the experience. But this Chargers team right now, they’re the most resilient team in football. They’ve been through so much. Injuries and the move and people not really paying attention to them and they just use all of it as fuel.
"Going out there is going to be no different. Them winning on the road, it hasn’t been a problem this year. They’ll go right into Foxborough - it'll be competitive, it'll be a good game. But in the past, the Patriots have always found ways to win. Not this time, I don’t think that’s the case."
Merriman actually has a salient argument if you remove the whole guaranteeing a win thing. The Chargers are the league's best road team this year so they can be expected to play their best football, which so many teams often cannot do in Foxborough. And at the same time, the Patriots haven't looked as dangerous this season as others.
But in the same statement, he's describing the game as "competitive". That doesn't really sound like a "lock", does it? This is more like someone making a reasonable series of points, but burying it in over-the-top hot-takery. He wins, though, because this article has been written about him.
If Merriman is not a fan of getting blasted on social media, then he better hope his Chargers do win. Or else he'll regret using the word "lock". He's officially on the watch list for becoming the next Trent Dilfer, Max Kellerman, etc.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].