The Aftermath: Patriots vs Chargers

Patriots Chargers

An eerily similar circumstance thankfully ended with a different result for Patriots fans.

Last year, a 4th down call in their own territory led to an Indianapolis Colts victory and a few weeks of talk-radio debate. A similar call today gave Patriots fans from coast-to-coast more 4th-quarter excitement than they bargained for.

The Patriots escaped San Diego with a 23-20 victory as Kris Brown’s kick clanged off the right upright with under a minute to go.

Tom Brady and the offense failed to convert on the majority of the Chargers first-half gaffes, including three fumbles and an interception by Devin McCourty, the first during his rookie season.

A different offense emerged in the second half, powering the Patriots to a 23-6 lead in the 4th quarter.  However, behind some great throws by Philip Rivers and a great onside kick, the Chargers cut the lead to 23-20 with 4 minutes to play.

At midfield, facing a 4th and 1, Coach Belichick elected to run Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis over left tackle to try and seal the game.  Green-Ellis was stuffed, setting up an incredible finish.

Here are our Gameballs and Goats for tonight – you can hear more about them on Patriots Insider Radio tonight at 9pm eastern.

Gameballs

Undrafted Free Agents – Dane Fletcher forced a fumble, made some solid tackles, and even recovered some sort of kickoff attempt. Danny Woodhead was again a nuisance for the oppposition, while Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis scored in his 4th straight game. All budding starts, all undrafted – the Patriot way.

2nd Half Offense – The modus operandi so far this season has been for the Patriots to have a vastly improved offense in the 2nd half. That certainly held true today as they needed each of the 13 points scored after halftime.

Patriots Mental Discipline – Two turnovers were created by Patriots not quitting on plays that the Chargers did. Rob Ninkovich and James Sanders each capitalized on mental mistakes by the Chargers.

Honorable Mentions: The right upright, Stephen Gostkowski

Goats

Gary Guyton – For a linebacker who has built his reputation based on playing fast – he certainly looked slow today. He routinely failed to break down in open space – beaten easily by a hobbled Antonio Gates and left grasping air by the admittedly quick Darren Sproles. Guyton certainly wasn’t at his best today.

Jake Ingram – We have been harping on the long-snapper all year. Due to Zoltan Mesko’s athleticism and hands there hasn’t been a major gaffe yet, but the bad snaps just keep on coming.

Matt Light – The Patriots left tackle had his worst game of the year, giving up multiple sacks and allowing constant pressure on Tom Brady. Antwan Barnes shouldn’t be looking like a Shawne Merriman from five years ago.

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4 Responses to “The Aftermath: Patriots vs Chargers”

  1. JimC says:

    Ryan – Cunningham and the rest of the defense is playing better then I ever expected. Considering this was only game 6 and 6 rookies started on Defense is amazing.

    Cunningham, Deadrick, Spikes, S. Brown, McCourty and Arrington. the only time they got burnt was when they played prevent.

    This is a good young team and will only get better!

  2. Ryan says:

    Our defense looked absolutely terrible, and we are certainly lucky that Floyd and Nanee didn’t play. And that Gates was not 100%. Aside from that SD had defenders missing. To me it was a lucky win. One which I’m glad we got, but over all it was just not somthing I’m going to count on every week. I think our defense took two steps back this week, but thats what happens with Rookies.

    • JimC says:

      Ryan – I’m not sure what game you were watching? The Bolts only had 3 point going into the 4th quarter.

      I agree that the defense was terrible in the 4th quarter but it was the coaching and not the players that almost let the team down….it was not the players who decided to play in a soft zone defense, this SZD allowed the bolts to take 6-7 yards per play on those two last drives.

      Prevent defenses suck!!!!

      • Ryan says:

        JimC:
        Your right I should in fact clarify. The Run Defense was alright, but ANYTIME the ball is in the air, I have to close my eyes. Some of the swing passes and things like that to Sproles KILLED us. I just wish we had ONE corner who didn’t get beat EVERY play. My point is this, IF SD had all of their weapons, the game would have turned out much different. McCourty is good and getting better. Just along way to go.

        What are your thoughts on Cunningham at this point?

        Furthermore, Woodhead seems like he could be a huge asset lets hope we keep him.

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