Pats pull off 'Troy Brown special' with rare feat vs. Chargers


The stakes were much lower, but Sunday's Patriots game may have looked familiar to New England fans of a certain age.

The Patriots erased the Los Angeles Chargers 45-0 in Week 13 thanks to a pair of special teams touchdowns in the second quarter: Gunner Olszewski's 70-yard punt return and Devin McCourty's 44-yard return of a blocked field field goal.

That's only the second time New England has returned a punt for a touchdown and returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown in the same game.

Highlights from Patriots' 45-0 rout of Chargers

The other time? The 2001 AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown had a hand in both of those scores. Here's his 55-yard punt return through the teeth of the Steelers' defense that gave New England a 7-0 lead in the first quarter (Brown's punt return comes at the 1:50 mark):

And here's the blocked field goal in the second quarter -- Brown scoops up the ball and deftly laterals to teammate Antwan Harris, who rumbles 49 yards for a score that put the Patriots up 21-3 (The block comes at the 9:25 mark).

That was all the cushion New England needed en route to a 24-17 win that preceded its upset victory over the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.

The 2020 Patriots are a long way from the Super Bowl -- they're 6-6 after Sunday's win and on the outside of the playoff picture -- but their special teams have played a key role in their last two victories.


That's thanks in part to Brown, who's currently the team's running backs/kick returners coach and apparently showed Olszewski some of his old tricks.