From a defensive standpoint, one could argue the Patriots earned their fifth W. The Boston Herald highlights a Pats D that stepped up when the offense couldn't convert on fourth-and-1 in waning regulation. The story calls attention to two loose balls picked up by the wiser safety James Sanders and linebacker Rob Ninkovich, who ran his turnover back 63 yards, an interception from cornerback Devin McCourty and the shunning tackle two yards short of a Charger first down by safety Sergio Brown on San Diego's final drive, forcing the Chargers into a failed 50-yard field goal attempt.
If you would argue a W could be charged to San Diego, the Boston Globe spells out a laundry list of blunders the 2-5 Chargers inflicted on themselves throughout yesterday evening's 23-20 contest in favor of a not-so-sharp New England. The story cites the Patriots led 23-6 with 11:27 to go before its D allowed two back-to-back 60-yard drives by the Chargers to get them within 3 and compares Pats quarterback Tom Brady's offensive performance to Chargers QB Phillip Rivers, who threw 336 yards to Brady's 159.
Also, Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather's more refined approach to hard-nosed defense in the Boston Globe.