The Los Angeles Chargers finished with a better record than the New England Patriots during the regular season, but they didn't even appear to be in the same league during the latter's 41-28 victory in Sunday's AFC divisional round game at Gillette Stadium.
The Los Angeles defense allowed New England to put the game away by halftime and score on seven of its first nine possessions. The Patriots enjoyed a 35-7 lead at intermission, and it could have been even worse if the clock hadn't run out on their final possession of the first half.
It was not a typical performance for a defense that finished the year eighth in the league in points allowed and ninth in yards allowed.
"We didn't come out and execute," Chargers safety Derwin James said, per Patra. "We made it tough on our offense today."
As a result, the Patriots will face the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game. It's a rematch of the teams' dramatic 43-40 contest from Week 6, which New England won.