San Diego Chargers vs. New England Patriots: Live Score, Highlights and Analysis
Final score: 35-21 New England Patriots
Brady's 517 yards last week was the fifth most passing yards in a game in the history of the NFL. However, the Chargers held Brady to just 19 completions and 159 yards in their 2010 matchup.
In last year's matchup, the Patriots narrowly escaped San Diego with a 23-20 victory over the Chargers. Kris Brown clanged a 50-yard field goal attempt off of the right upright in the waning seconds. The field goal would have sent the game into overtime.
The Chargers held the Patriots to just 179 yards of total offense in the game. As the game wore on, Philip Rivers became unstoppable, ending the game with 336 yards and completing pass after pass in the fourth quarter.
In the 2011 iteration of the Chargers-Patriots, the Chargers hope to hold Brady to another subpar game. In their first game of the season, the Chargers were able to hold Donovan McNabb to just seven completions and 39 yards in their first game of the season.
It will be interesting to see how the Patriots' high-powered offense will perform again the Chargers, whose defense held the Vikings to the lowest yardage total out of any team in the league last week.
Both teams have dreams of the Super Bowl this year and this game will be a solid measuring stick to see where they presently stand.
The weather in Foxboro is expected to be around 63 degrees at kickoff and there is a 10 percent chance of rain. Kickoff is at 4:15 p.m. EST and the game will be broadcast on CBS.
Feel free to comment with feedback or questions below. Most questions will be incorporated into the live blog and answered as the game goes on.
The Patriots and Chargers combined for 974 yards of total offense in the game. The Patriots had 504 yards compared to the Chargers' 470 yards.
The big difference in the game was the turnover margin. The Patriots didn't turn over the ball a single time in contrast to the Chargers, who finished with four turnovers.
It is clear that the Chargers can play with the Patriots, but the difference seemed to be coaching. The Patriots appeared to be an extremely well-coached team which is to be expected from a Bill Belichick team. On the flip side, the Chargers did not make adjustments and there were numerous mistakes by the coaching staff. One of the glaring mistakes was allowing the Patriots to get quick catches and step out of bounds at the end of the first half.
It is still early in the year, but the New England Patriots appear to be the favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
Here are the notable stat lines from the game:
Tom Brady: 31/40, 423 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions
Philip Rivers: 29/40, 378 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions
Vincent Jackson: Ten catches, 172 yards, two touchdowns
Deion Branch: Eight catches, 129 yards
Rob Gronkowski: Four catches, 86 yards, two touchdowns
Philip Rivers just got rocked by Mark Anderson. Anderson forced a fumble, which is Rivers' third turnover on the day. If there was any doubt before the fumble, it's now evident that the game is over.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis strolls into the end zone from 16 yards out to put the Patriots up 35-21 with 1:54 remaining in the game. That essentially puts the game out of reach for the Chargers. Philip Rivers will still try to keep the score as close as possible on the next drive. With how Vincent Jackson has been playing, the Chargers might be able to get a quick touchdown.
Terrible mixup by the defense. Once again, Rob Gronkowski gets off the line of scrimmage with little resistance, gets into his route, catches the ball, and carries Eric Weddle down to the 24-yard line. The Chargers just cannot defend good tight ends.
Tom Brady now has 423 passing yards and three touchdowns. What a great way to follow up his amazing performance against the Miami Dolphins on Monday.
The Chargers had Benjarvus Green-Ellis stuffed before the first down marker, but The Law Firm kept moving forward and got the valuable first down for the Patriots.
Quentin Jammer just made a great play against Wes Welker. Knocked down the ball, making it 2nd down and the clock is now stopped.
Antoine Cason with yet another strike against him in this game. He held Wes Welker, yet Welker still caught the ball and got the first down for the Patriots.
The referees are reviewing something and everyone is confused. Even Mr. Know-It-All Phil Simms is confused.
Vincent Jackson makes a great one-handed 26-yard touchdown grab to make the score 21-28. Great throw by Philip Rivers, fitting the ball in between three Patriots' defenders. There's 5:40 left in the game and the Chargers still have a chance to come back.
The Chargers have turned the ball over three times and the Patriots have 11 points off turnovers. In addition to the Chargers' inability to score within the 30-yard line, this is what's killing them. The Chargers' cannot make the big plays and are turning the ball over far too much.
Rob Gronkowski makes a nice 17-yard touchdown catch and Danny Woodhead scores on the two-point conversion to put the Patriots up 28-14. Weddles continues to get owned by Rob Gronkowski. Looks like the coaching staff couldn't figure out how to stop the Patriots' tight ends. Great drive by the Patriots to put some more points on the board.
This is why Mike Tolbert is not a good option. He is a huge running back, but he doesn't hit the hole. He tries to dance around like a smaller running back. Terrible play by Tolbert. Ryan Mathews better get more carries from here on out.
Huge catch by Deion Branch with no one around him. The Patriots look like they're about to score again. The Chargers had their chance.
Wow. The Patriots went for it on 4th and 4 and didn't get it. Now the Chargers have the ball around midfield. Let's see if the Chargers can score with a short field ahead of them.
Vincent Jackson catches a three-yard touchdown to make the score 20-14 with 13:33 left to go in the game. Great play by Philip Rivers and the offensive line. The line gave Rivers time and Rivers held on to the ball long enough to get Jackson wide open in the back of the end zone.
Huge pass interference call on Sergio Brown. Antonio Gates would have made the catch if Brown didn't pull his arm down. Mike Tolbert gets another carry near the goal line, but I think that Ryan Mathews should get the ball right now.
The Chargers are back inside the 30-yard line again. Let's see if they can actually score this time. Also, Vincent Jackson has 112 receiving yards after his last reception. The third quarter is now over and the Chargers must move with more urgency if they want a chance to win this game.
Albert Haynesworth and James Ihedigbo have gotten hurt on consecutive plays for the Patriots. Players are dropping like flies in this game.
The Chargers have been kept from scoring on three straight possessions inside the 30-yard line. All three of those possessions easily could have resulted in points, but they got nothing out of it. The Chargers need to score on this possession if they want to come back in this game.
The first time the Chargers try to go to Antonio Gates, it gets picked off by Sergio Brown. Philip Rivers made a rare terrible throw on the interception. I'm not sure what he saw in the coverage, but Brown seemed to have Gates blanketed pretty well. A long 77-yard drive for the Chargers ends up being for naught.
Like I wrote in my adjustments slideshow, Ryan Mathews must be utilized more. He just had another nice run and he had a nice reception earlier on this drive.
Malcom Floyd has a groin injury and he's questionable to return to the game. If he doesn't return, it's a huge loss for the Chargers and it will be very difficult for them to come back in this game without him.
Antoine Cason is getting owned by Tom Brady right now. It seems like Brady keeps throwing his way and every throw is being completed.
Steve Gregory makes a very nice play against Rob Gronkowski as he breaks a pass up. Gregory had a chance at the interception on the play. His solid play forced the Patriots to punt and the Chargers will begin to operate from the six-yard line.
Travis LaBoy gets hurt and is on the sidelines now. Surprisingly, Tom Brady was fine after getting hit below the knee by Antonio Garay.
The Patriots takes advantage of the Chargers' over-aggressiveness on a blitz by tossing a tight end screen to Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski rumbled 30 yards downfield on the first offensive play of the second half.
Julian Edelman returns the first kickoff of the second half to the 15-yard line. The Chargers must begin to put pressure on Tom Brady right now if they want to come back.
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