Best and Worst: Patriots 21, Chargers 13
THAT GUY’S HAND…!
The Chargers had a nice drive going on their first possession but – on fourth-and-1 from the Patriots 33 – they opted to let Nick Novak try a 51-yard field goal which was partially blocked by Lawrence Guy.
SPEAKING OF WHICH
No reason to be kicking 51-yard field goals with a semi-wounded kicker against a Patriots defense that yielded a pile of rushing yards on the first drive.
MELVIN BE GONE
Melvin Gordon turned the right edge of the Patriots defense and hightailed it 78 yards for a touchdown on the Chargers second possession, immediately touching off a post-Hightower panic.
TOO MANY CHARGERS ON THE FIELD
Tom Brady, as has been his habit lately, caught the Chargers during a substitution and picked up a 12-men on the field penalty.
SYNCHRONIZED SAFETY CALLS
Travis Benjamin – trying to make something out of nothing - fielded a punt at his 8-yard line in the second quarter and then tried to slalom backward and across his goal line. He got hemmed in by Brandon King at the goal line and finished off by Jonathan Jones in the end zone for a safety which the two officials on the scene signaled for in unison.
A VERY SPECIAL HALF
The Patriots blocked a field goal, turned a punt into a safety, stopped a kickoff returner at his 12 and both teams’ punter finished the half with net punting averages over 50 yards. And then some. Dion Lewis returned the second of kickoffs 71 yards after a Chargers penalty. MMMMMMWWWOOWWWWW.
I SEE A LITTLE SILHOUETTO OF A MAN…
For some reason, the Gillette Stadium DJ – feeling his oats – played Bohemian Rhapsody in its entirety during halftime.
FIELD GOAL DEFENSE ON A HIGH
The Patriots have seen opponents miss six of their last seven field goal attempts. Two were blocked.
I DROPPED MY THING!!!
Philip Rivers was surveying downfield in the third quarter, rolling quickly to his right when he dropped the football resulting in a 20-yard loss and a handy lowlight we can use on TV.
TOUCHDOWN … NOOOTTTT!!!!
The Chargers had two TDs wiped off the board by penalty – one came when Tyrell Williams left the field and came back before hauling in a touchdown pass. Later, an OPI erased another LA touchdown.
The Patriots' inability to finish drives offensively made the game more dramatic than it needed to be. Patriots drives ended at the LA 6, 18, 25, 25, 25 and the Pats managed just nine points on those.