Time 5:15 Last meeting The Patriots took advantage of an ailing Chargers team and advanced to Super Bowl XLII with a 21-12 victory in last season's AFC Championship Game. Streaks Thirteen of the last 15 matchups have gone New England's way and the Patriots have ousted the Chargers from the playoffs in each of the past two seasons. They own a 20-14-2 overall series edge. Check out the historical matchup of the last five games. Last week Matt Cassel discovered the deep ball, hooking up with Randy Moss on a 66-yard touchdown pass to lead the Patriots past the 49ers, 30-21. ... The Chargers could not get their offense going in Miami and they suffered a 17-10 defeat at the hands of the Dolphins. Keep your eye on ... The ultimate X-factor: While he has has been overshadowed by stars such as Tom Brady, Moss and Corey Dillon over the years, Kevin Faulk has been the one constant for the Patriots throughout their successful run this decade. With Brady out this season, Faulk has stepped it up again and had a career-high two touchdown runs last week. San Diego opening the Gates: Chargers tight end Antonio Gates is coming off one of the worst games of his career. He had only one catch for 12 yards in the loss to Miami, but in two career matchups against the Patriots he has 185 receiving yards. The pick of destiny: In his last two games, Cassel has thrown three interceptions, while San Diego's Philip Rivers has been intercepted four times in his last four games. The Patriots and Chargers are tied for ninth with five defensive interceptions apiece. Did you know? Since 2003, the Patriots are 20-3 in October. ... After playing in San Francisco, New England decided to stay on the West Coast in the week leading up to their game in San Diego. ... When Chargers CB Antonio Cromartie picks off a pass, the Chargers are 7-0. ... Five of Chris Chambers' 11 catches this season have been for touchdowns.