Phillip Rivers committed three of his teams four turnovers and the Chargers failed to come away with points in the red zone three times this afternoon at Gillette Stadium as the Patriots rolled over San Diego 35-21.
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots capitalized on those mistakes, scoring twice off turnovers and once after stopping the Chargers on the goal line. Brady, who threw for 423 yards, his second consecutive 400+ yard game to open the season, completed touchdown passes to his stud tight ends Rob Gronkowski (twice) and Aaron Hernandez.
In a game that saw 974 yards of offense, Deion Branch had his best game since returning to the team, making eight catches for 129 yards. For the Chargers, Vincent Jackson hauled in 10 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns.
The key moment in the game came early in the fourth quarter when, after failing to convert on a fourth and one from midfield, the Chargers took over possession trailing 20-14. With a chance to take the lead, they marched to the Patriots 34 yard line before running back Mike Tolbert fumbled the ball in the backfield. Rob Ninkovich fell on it for the Pats who promptly went 61 yards in four plays for the game clinching score on Brady’s second touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski.
The Patriots move to 2-0 on the season and will be in Buffalo next week to take on the Bills. The Chargers drop to 1-1 and will host Kansas City in Week 3.
A full game recap will be out shortly.