Riding a three-game win streak, the Los Angeles Chargers came into Gillette Stadium hoping to continue their winning ways by handing an upset loss to the defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots.
In a game that would see the them leave plenty of opportunities on the table, the Bolts fell to the to the Patriots 21-13 Sunday in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
For the second consecutive game though, the Chargers struck first. On a 2nd-and-9 in the first quarter, Gordon outran New England’s defense for an 87-yard touchdown. It was a career-long for Gordon and tied a record for the longest rushing touchdown in franchise history (Paul Lowe, 1961). Gordon would finish with 132 total rushing yards, on 14 carries, including his history-making touchdown.
The Patriots responded on their next offensive possession with a 14-play, 77-yard drive. The drive ended with a two-yard touchdown pass from Pats quarterback Tom Brady to his wide-open tight end,Rob Gronkowski. The Pats evened the score at 7, and would not trail again for the rest of the game.
In the second quarter, Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa sacked Brady to give him 8.5 on the season. Bosa’s 19 career sacks are the most by any NFL player in his first 20 games. The Bolts’ star defensive end had temporarily given some momentum back to the Bolts.
However, that momentum shifted back to New England just a few plays later. Travis Benjamin, who was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week just a few days prior, was tackled in the end zone, after a poor attempt at reversing the field. The tackle resulted in a safety. A pair of Stephen Gostkowski field goals put the Patriots ahead 15-7 at halftime.
After being held scoreless in the second and third quarters, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers found Benjamin for a 24-yard touchdown reception in the fourth. The two-point conversion failed, making the score 18-13 with 8:30 remaining in the game.
Despite a couple of key misses, Gostkowski hit a field goal with 1:08 remaining, which increased the Patriots lead to 21-13. The Chargers drove down to New England’s 23-yard line, but Rivers was intercepted on the final play of the game by cornerback Jonathan Jones.
New England possessed the ball for nearly 37 minutes.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw for 333 yards and a touchdown.
Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen had four catches for 61 yards.
Rivers finished the game 17-of-30 for 212 yards, one touchdown and an interception.
The Chargers will enjoy a bye this week. They open the second half of the season on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Nov. 12th.
-Mike D’Abate is the Managing Editor for cover32.com/Chargers and covers the Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots. He is also a National Content Writer and covers the NFL for cover32.com.