60 degrees – light rain
- It’s always difficult for any west coast team to play a 1pm ET game due to the time change, but Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn had his team ready to play.
- The Chargers’ DL is an active, fairly dominating unit, and it made life difficult for Patriots QB Tom Brady all game long. Even though Brady did a good job of evading numerous sacks with his pocket movement, the Chargers DL dictated the game to the Patriots OL, and was a key reason why the Patriots had difficulty finding the endzone.
- A major turning point in this game came with just over 9 minutes left in the second quarter and the teams tied at 7. The Chargers forced a Patriots punt, and Chargers punt returner Travis Benjamin received the ball only to circle back into his own endzone for a safety. The Chargers had taken the first lead in the game earlier, but now had given up nine consecutive points and would never see the lead again.
- A second turning point came just before the two minute warning in the first half. The Chargers had the ball 3rd & 1, on their own 44, a conversion would be important as failure would give the Patriots the ball again while ahead 12-7 with three timeouts left. The Patriots also would get the ball to start the 3rd quarter. RB Melvin Gordon may be the Chargers’ best offensive player, but for this play, he was not even on the field. The Chargers tried to run a pick play; it was unsuccessful, the Patriots got the ball back, and extended their lead to 15-7 before the half.
- A final turning point came when the Patriots offense adjusted to the ferocious Chargers pass rush by utilizing their backs in the passing game. RB Rex Burkhead was especially effective.
- Here at HCR, we aren’t fond of 2 point PAT attempts – generally – outside of five minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn violated this rule for us in going for 2 points after closing to 18-13 with about nine minutes left in the fourth quarter. The attempt failed. The Chargers then got the ball back at 7:05 with a chance to take the lead. If the Chargers had actually scored a TD on that drive, an extra point would only have given them a 20-18 lead…as opposed to 21-18 had they simply kicked the point earlier.