The New England Patriots played their most complete game of the season on Sunday by fully controlling the Los Angeles Chargers in all three stages on their way to a 45-0 victory. A win improves the team’s record to 6-6 in the season – the first time at 0.500 since before Week Six – and also helps keep New England alive in the race on the wild card dock.
New England kicked off the match with the attack and quickly made its way onto the field behind a powerful opening script from offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as well as some aggressive sprints by Damian Harris and Cam Newton. Even the fourth and second cars were unable to slow down the Patriots, as Newton ran for a new set of landings. After that with three plays, he carried football back – to the finish area of Chargers’ 1-yard streak:
The plus point Nick Falk followed was fine as well, giving the Patriots a seven-point early lead. [Patriots 7 : 0 Chargers]
Los Angeles responded to the Patriots’ landing gear with an opening series that also looked pretty good, at least early on – one that also featured a fourth diversion down the road. Unlike the New England attack, the Chargers’ team failed to finish their point possession: after Deatrich sacked Wise Jr. Justin Herbert on 3 and 10, Michael Badgley attempted to score a field goal from 46 yards sailed far to the right.
The Patriots couldn’t build on their momentum and good field position on their next possession, though, and they went three times.
However, the home team was not doing better, and also had to hit the soccer ball away – a kick that proved expensive for a Charger, as Gunner Olszewski brought it back 70 yards for the landing:
The bonus point was again good, putting New England ahead 14-0 at the start of the second period. [Patriots 14 : 0 Chargers]
The team continued to play some impressive supplemental football on the next drive, forcing the Charger to go three times over at the second drive in a row. While Olszewski didn’t return the bet that followed for a score – he just caught it – the Patriots’ attack took the field with an opportunity to add to his lead. However, Unity failed to do so despite some positive plays early on during the series.
However, Jake Bailey’s 40-yard kick fixed the Los Angeles crime into her 8-yard line. While the Patriots conceded one goal first, they were able to quickly exit the field again thanks to some strong pressure from rookie Josh Uchi in third place.
With Damian Harris leading the attack again, the Patriots had another impressive campaign over time in the first half. In all, they walked 54 yards in 16 plays – including three turns down – and finished the series with Cam Newton to find the finish area a second time:
Nick Falk’s extra point was good again, and New England climbed with three touchdowns. [Patriots 21 : 0 Chargers]
With less than a minute in the half remaining and no time left, the Charger was able to drive into half of Patriots’ field again to settle into a 58-yard field target. However, a large New England squad unit appeared for the second time. Not only did Cody Davis get a hand on the kick to stop it, Devin McCurty took the ball and put it back 44 yards for the touchdown:
Nick Falk was doing well again, giving the Patriots a four-way lead heading in half. [Patriots 28 : 0 Chargers]
New England started the second half in defense, but managed to quickly get off the field again thanks to a great play from Chase Weinovitch: the second-year midfielder fell into coverage in third place and managed to intercept a pass attempt by Justin Herbert to set up the crime at the main field position .
The Patriot crime benefited from Weinovitch’s first professional objection. With the running game running again as the trigger, the unit has moved up Chargers’ 5-yard line. While facing a third target at that point, Cam Newton and Nickel Harry were able to call to end driving in style:
For the fifth time, Nick Folk entered the field for a bonus point. For the fifth time, he divided the rebels. [Patriots 35 : 0 Chargers]
The Patriots defense continued to play its dominant role in the following series. While the shipper was able to move the ball into the New England area and potential field goal range, their second push of inning ended just like the first: with an interception. This time, JC Jackson managed to get the ball to spin.
Unlike the first objection, this one did not end with the Patriots’ points. Cam Newton and his company moved to the Chargers area, but eventually had to settle for a penalty kick – done perfectly by Jake Bailey and Justin Bethel to set up LA on her 5-yard streak.
The New England defense continued its dominant play at the Chargers ‘next possession, resulting in a quick hat-trick that once again highlighted the teams’ kicking units. After all, Gunner Olszewski had another big comeback when he took the ensuing throw at 61 yards to the Los Angeles 17-yard streak.
However, the Patriots’ attack failed to fully take advantage of the great return: he had only executed three attacking plays before having to call in Nick Falk to attempt his first field goal of the day. Nevertheless, his 32-yard performance was good, to increase the team’s lead to 38 points. [Patriots 38 : 0 Chargers]
With the game largely out of reach and forcing the defense to pause in fourth place the next inning – Adam Butler managed to sack Justin Herbert for a downward spin – the Patriots decided to switch in the middle: It was Cam Newton’s day that was over, with Jarrett Steedham taking the field in his place. The man in his second year got plenty of opportunities to throw, and made the most of them to lock his first drive when he was connected to Gunner Olszewski in a touchdown pass from 38 yards.
Nick Falk was perfect in getting his sixth extra point as well, putting New England ahead by 45 points. [Patriots 45 : 0 Chargers]
The New England defense followed relegation with another fourth-place stop – an incomplete Justin Herbert dedicated to Kenan Allen with Miles Bryant in coverage – and Steadham and his teammates returned to the field. This time, they didn’t score, instead running around the clock with three consecutive attempts by Sonny Michelle in a hurry before a kick.
The defense forced another round for relegation, before Stedham kneeled in the match.
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