BSJ Game Report: Patriots 45, Chargers 0 – New England scores stunning wire-to-wire rout

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Everything you need to know from the Patriots’ win over the Chargers in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:


Patriots never let up: For the first time, arguably, all season, the Patriots played a complete 60 minutes in all three phases and utterly dominated the scuffling Chargers wire-to-wire. It started with a 75-yard touchdown drive off the opening kickoff that was heavy on the ground (including the Wildcat with Damien Harris). Deatrich Wise got a sack to end a promising Chargers opening drive, leading to a missed field goal, and then Gunner Olszewski had the first of two special teams touchdowns to get the team its first 14-point lead since the end of the Week 3 win over the Raiders ... it was off to the races.

A more balanced Cam was a better Cam: By the time it was 28-0 at halftime, Cam Newton had 46 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries, and he had 42 passing yards on 10 attempts. The Patriots and Josh McDaniels seemed to double down on making things more simple and cleaner for Newton, while also playing to his strengths. The result seemed to reward the approach, and Newton even seemed to have a better feel for pressure in the pocket.

Defense generates pressure: For the second-straight week, the Patriots were able to generate pressure up front to help the secondary against Justin Herbert as they had three sacks (Adam Butler, Deatrich Wise, Lawrence Guy). The Patriots also had eight other quarterback hits, including a team-high three from Josh Uche. A couple of things were at work here: