This has not been a pretty game so far.
For the Patriots, four special teams penalties have given the Chargers plenty of help in the field position game, and a bad snap to punter Zoltan Mesko almost cost quite a bit more. Another penalty—this time an illegal substitution as rookie Decin McCourty couldn’t get off the field in time—erased a big stop on 3rd-and-short.
The Chargers make up for what they lack in quantity with quality. A long strike to Richard Goodman seemed to have the Chargers in good position to put points on the board before he got up untouched, leaving the ball on the ground. The Pats jumped on it, and suddenly the drive was over.
And now another fumble that takes the Chargers completely by surprise, as Phillip Rivers’ bounced one off the fingertips of Jacob Hester. The play was ruled a backwards pass, and the Patriots once again picked up a cheap turnover.
Patrick Chung, meanwhile, has gone to the locker room with a knee injury.