The Patriots dropped to 2-2 on the season as the 21-game home winning streak at Gillette Stadium was snapped when the San Diego Chargers shocked the Patriots with a 41-17 win. "We just have to play better, that's the bottom line," Patriots receiver Troy Brown said. "We didn't play well at all and they played great. They ran the ball great on offense, they threw it great, they converted on third down . . . everything we couldn't do on offense they did on offense. You expect to go out there and play well. You never expect to go out there and play like we did today." Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe, Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, Tom Curran of the Providence Journal and Jarrett Bell of *USA Today *all offer a recap of the game.
It was a tail of two half's writes Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant. The first half of the game the Patriots seemed to easily matchup blow for blow with the Chargers and went into halftime with a 17-17 tie. The Patriots offense was barely on the field in the second half, making only three first downs. Meanwhile, the Chargers, who converted six of eight third downs into firsts in the second half, played keep away. Tom Brady was unable to ignite the Patriots offense and a halftime tie degenerated into a 41-17 Chargers rout. "They did a better job at everything than we did," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "Pass protection, throwing the ball, catching it, making the big plays. You can pick out anything you want. ... They made the plays they needed to make, and we didn't." Shalise Manza Young of the Providence Journal and Jackie MacMullan of the Boston Globe also offer a similar report.
Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe writes that Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson had a huge day against New England, rushing for 134 yards on 25 attempts and 2 touchdowns. The Patriots defense did hold him from breaking through for any big gains as the longest Tomlinson run was 11 yards. Michael Felger of the Boston Herald also offers a similar report.
Ron Borges of the Boston Globe reports that the Chargers exploited some gaping holes in the New England defense. Borges writes San Diego center Nick Hardwick repeatedly got a block on nose tackle Vince Wilfork and got him turned enough to make room for Tomlinson's quick cutbacks into holes vacated by inside linebackers Beisel and Chad Brown. Tomlinson said he had noticed on film last week the Patriots' tendency to overpursue on running plays, leaving open lanes to cut back into if the center was quick enough to get on Wilfork. "Regardless of what kind of defense we were playing and regardless of what kind of blocking schemes they had, there were creases," linebacker Rosevelt Colvin explained. "The object of the defense is you want to build a wall and put up a front so they don't have anywhere to run. When guys get out of gaps or somebody overplays a run one way or another you have cutback lanes."
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his analysis of the Patriots loss to the San Diego Chargers, 41-17.
Paul Kenyon of the Providence Journal writes that the Patriots came out hitting hard but the Chargers seemed to have an answer for everything New England was trying to do. "It was obvious what the Patriots were trying to do early," said Charger QB Drew Brees. "They were going to bang our receivers, bang our tight end, bang guys coming out. They were going to get pressure on me. That's what they were hoping in order to shut down our passing game."
Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe writes that Tom Brady praised the offensive line for making improvement each week. Solomon writes that New England managed just 73 yards on 18 attempts. The 4.1 yards per rush is a marked improvement on the 2.5 yards per carry the Patriots averaged the first three weeks. Brady commented on the improvement of rookies Logan Mankins and Nick Kaczur. "I think those guys are working hard and trying hard and they are improving," Brady said. "It is tough for those guys sometime, but they are good players and they are going to be good players."
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald reports that Tedy Bruschi was again on the sidelines cheering for his teammates yesterday. Guregian also reports that ESPN's Chris Mortensen cited a Patriots source as confirming that Bruschi was considering making a comeback this season. Chris Kennedy of The Republican writes that Corey Dillon started strong breaking loose for a big gain of 29 yards, but negative plays by Dillon helped to render that Patriots running game ineffective.
Tom Curran of the Providence Journal offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes and commentary.