I don't know about you, but I'm getting pretty tired of watching the same San Diego Chargers re-run over and over again. The team stinks in the first half and digs themselves too deep of a hole to get out of against a good team in the second half. The team turns the ball over and creates no turnovers. The team is completely and totally outcoached in all facets of the game.
The Patriots game plan seemed simple enough. Throw short, safe passes and attack the middle of the field (where Takeo Spikes and Donald Butler struggled with zone coverage) on offense. On defense, the Patriots took Antonio Gates out of the equation. Once they had a lead, and had removed the Chargers bets weapon (especially on 3rd downs and in the Red Zone), all they had to do was wait for the Chargers to shoot themselves in the foot.
This loss lays at the feet of more than a few people. Philip Rivers had a terrible game, throwing some really bad balls and occasionally missing wide open receivers. Mike Tolbert made one of the dumbest plays I've ever seen, running backwards once he was handed the ball, then tripping over Nick Hardwick and fumbling at a critical time in the game. Malcom Floyd and Patrick Crayton did that thing where they take up roster spots but never seem healthy enough to be effective.
The defensive side wasn't much better. Travis LaBoy can't rush the passer, and Greg Manusky seemed to try and counter-balance that by not sending any pressure at Tom Brady except for 3 defensive linemen (against 5-6 blockers). Takeo Spikes seemed to miss 50 tackles. Bob Sanders and Eric Weddle can't cover TEs.
The list goes on an on. Here are the facts. The Chargers are still in first place in the AFC West, tied with the Raiders, and lost to a team that many believe to be the best in the league. Tom Brady now has 29 consecutive home regular-season wins. This was not a game anyone expected to win, and there were no surprises. The only disappointment was that the Bolts didn't really get beat by the Patriots nearly as badly as they beat themselves.