“Chargers-Patriot–Beaten By Own Game”
it was artistry-the game plan put together by Bill Belicheck
It was a public execution in the town square in Foxboro, what Tom Brady did.
It was a a pounding what the Patriots did to the Chargers defense..
The Pats tore apart the Chargers defense, zeroing in on their zone coverage, throwing underneath on crossing patterns and out patterns. Then they threw over the top of the zone in deeper patterns. And when not doing all that, they hammered the ball, hitting big run play after big run play.
Julian Edelman, James White, and Sonny Michel destroyed the Chargers game plan, designed by Gus Bradley. .All the great currency, the things the Bolts built up in wins on the road, went away.
And speaking of defense, Belicheck pulled pages out of the back of the playbook, doing some things that the Chargers did a week ago in Baltimore. They used nickle and dime DBs, they loaded linebackers into the gaps, they blitzed, pressured and hit Philip Rivers all day.
There were a ton of snaps where Rivers looked at 7-8-9 man fronts, plays in which his receivers could not get off the line of scrimmage. And he got hit, knocked down, hit, pressured, got frustrated and whined to the refs.
As New England jumped to the early lead, then blew the game open, the only thing missing was a contribution from the always tough tight end Rob Gronkoswki. He was targeted just twice, one big catch, drew one pass interference call. They did all this without big plays involving Gronk.
Brady started the afternoon with a 14-play 83-yard drive, a signature series that foretell what was going to happen the rest of the day.
Running back James White had 25-and-28-yard catch and runs on screen plays. He wound up with 15-receptions for 97-yards, tying an NFL playoff record for most catches by a running back in postseason.
Michel exploded for 129-rushing, gashing thru gaps for big plays.
From the Chargers standpoint, there was no help for the quarterback. Rivers got nailed a lot enroute to a (21-51) day for 331-yards, most of it in garbage time. 2-sacks…10-hits….13-pressures, and a lot of frustration.
Overthrows, under throws, dropped passes, it was poor. In one stretch in the 2nd quarter into late in the third, the Bolts record setting QB was (5-16) passing. And the run game…. 10-carries for 19-yards.
In one stretch early, the Patriots had 20-first downs while the Chargers had run just 20-plays.
New England wound up with 498-yards, despite taking their foot off the pedal in the fourth quarter. Time of possession (38-29) minutes…as New England ran off 78-plays on the day.
Julian Edelman ran wild vs that zone with a 9-catch 101-yard day. James White, the running back, was a wide receiver all day with 15-receptions. Michel smashed and bashed for 129-yards.
There was no answer on defense either. No Joey Bosa nor Melvin Ingram big plays. A bad day for the young DB-Desmond King, a bad fumble and 6-pass completions on him. Casey Hayward had a pass interference penalty and gave up 3-catches. Corner Michael Davis got beaten 3-times. Derin James allowed 3-catches. All this damage incurred in the first 3-quarters.
New England had 16-plays of 10-yards or more during the day to compliment all those 8-9 yard plays they kept pulling off. Rivers couldn’t get his audibles called, took -delay of game flags and had to burn a timeout. The Bolts wound up running 22-plays in the game in which they gave 1-yard,no yards, lost yards, took a sack or threw an incompletion. 22-plays in one afternoon from one of the top offenses in the NFL..
Team-Belicheck-Brady are now (8-0) in games against Rivers. The Chargers history now shows a (1-12) record there in Foxboro. Brady is (28-10) in his career in the postseason, including a (20-3) home record in the playoffs.. At Gillette Stadium he’s (135-21). and his career record, deflate gate and all, is (208-60).
Rivers is (0-3) in playoff games in Foxboro. He’s now (0-8) in head to head games against Brady. This is not so much on him, but 1-man can only do so much when the rest of his team is falling down around him.
The window on Rivers getting to a Super Bowl seems to be almost fully closed now. That was a good football season they had, with all those impressive wins, but it ended ugly. Still not over is the reality they are really an outsider in the LA fan market, and even how they viewed by the media.
Adding to all this, Dean Spanos, who never spoke to the San Diego media after leaving the city, and who has given just 1-interview to the LA media in two years, did talk to the New York Times this weekend, saying he had no regrets about the move to LA, had no comments about the city-fans he left behind, and reiterated he believed it would take time to win the approval of the LA market.
It may take them longer than ever, with an aging Rivers, to ever get back to an AFC-title game,much less the Super Bowl.
New England heads into Kansas City next week for their 8th straight AFC title game, as the coach and the quarterback seem their 6th Super Bowl ring together.
The Chargers got on the plane last night, knowing they had a winning season, even with the final Sunday of the year ending with a terrible beating in the New England nation.
Good year even if it was a bad finish.
The Patriots beat the Bolts at their own game. Brady sprayed the ball everywhere. New England’s defense out schemed them, out-coached them, and hit their quarterback all day.
Just another victory on a Patriot Day in the state of New England.
One other item, Dean Spanos and his sons got on their own private jet to head home. They’re still losers as people regardless of what the standings say.