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Haynesworth stresses getting after Rivers

With a lack of big-play receivers in Miami, opponents will likely target RB Reggie Bush in 2012. Marc Serota/Getty Images

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Albert Haynesworth has been around the National Football League long enough to know that, while the New England Patriots beat the Dolphins, 38-24, in their season opener, the defense wasn’t particularly stellar.

The Pats coughed up too many points and surrendered 416 passing yards to mediocre Miami quarterback Chad Henne.

And now the San Diego Chargers will come calling Sunday (4:15) in New England’s home opener featuring one of the league’s best quarterbacks, Philip Rivers.

“We have to play better than we did in Miami as a defensive front,” said Haynesworth, a 6-foot-6, 350-pound lineman in his 10th NFL season.

He expects Rivers and the potent Chargers to pose a formidable challenge.

“(Rivers) is a great quarterback. He gets rid of the ball, throws the football all over the field. He’s proven and he’s playing extremely well. He’s one of the top guys in the NFL,” said Hayneworth.

“We have to figure out what we have to do, work hard and we’ll be all right. I just have to get after (Rivers),” said Haynesworth.