New England is now 5-1 after a 23-20 win over the San Diego Chargers yesterday at Qualcomm Stadium, and there is certainly plenty going on this morning after the win. So let’s get to the headlines.
Michael Silver writes that while the call to go for it on fourth down was questionable, the odds were in the Patriots’ favor that San Diego would screw the game up even if they didn’t make it.
Alok Pattani of ESPN.com also has some interesting math behind Belichick’s 4th down gamble.
Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald talked to Rob Ninkovich, and asked him how he was alert enough to pick the ball up after the lateral was left laying on the ground by San Diego. Ninkovich says he can’t take the credit, as it was the coaches yelling at him on the sideline that made him dive on it, before getting up and taking off before Philip Rivers took him down.
Erik Scalavino of Patriots.com has analysis/reaction from Sunday’s game, as the team survived a close one during their fifth win of the season.
Chistopher Gasper of the Globe takes a look back at Sunday’s win in his “On Football” piece for this morning, and feels that the Patriots were both lucky and good in this one.
As he always does, Christopher Price of WEEI.com has another terrific “Ten Things We Learned From Sunday’s Game” article, giving an in-depth breakdown while pointing out it’s a different year, different players, and a different mentality in the locker room for New England.
Alex Speier of WEEI.com questions the 4th and 1 call, but both Belichick and Brady said after the game that they had no doubt about going for it – since it would have essentially ended the game.
Mike Reiss writes that Belichick has no need for second thoughts, and thankfully unlike last year that call ended up not costing them the game.
Reiss also points out that the Patriots had just 38 net yards in total offense in the first half – which is a number you don’t see very often from them.
Ron Borges of the Boston Herald has “the best and worst of yesterday’s game”, with some interesting thoughts on several different areas of yesterday’s win.
Borges also has this week’s column for the game, and feels that toughness and smarts were what saved the day for New England yesterday.
Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe writes that after a game like yesterday, the Patriots should just take the ‘W’ and not ask questions.
Karen Guregian of the Herald has the play of the game, which she felt was the false start on what would have been a game tying field goal for the Chargers, along with locker room reaction of the play.
Guregian also feels that for the second straight week, the defense showed its stuff and stepped up and made plays when it counted.
Ian Rapoport writes that while they escaped with a win, they certainly made it harder than it had to be and could have definitely done more damage had they gotten going sooner offensively.
Monique Walker of the Boston Globe writes that San Diego showed just how tough they are defensively, keeping Tom Brady and the offense off balance for the entire first half of play before they finally started to figure things out in the second half.
Safety Brandon Meriweather made another big hit on Sunday, but as Walker points out: this time around, this one was legal.
Tom Curran of NECN has five thoughts on yesterday’s win over the Chargers, one of which includes the fact that he feels the Chargers “Dimwittedness Was Epic”.
Now – from the other side, it’s a tough morning out in San Diego.
Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune feels that Norv Turner’s lack of fire trickles down to his team, and thinks that he could use a little fury to go along with his usual sound.
Nick Canepa has a report card for the Chargers, with some humorous comments after each grade.
Kevin Acee writes that they lost because a few players misplaced their heads and made blunders that the Chargers “would love to say are uncharacteristic, but are entirely characteristic”.
Bill Williamson of ESPN was in the Chargers locker room after Sunday’s game, and says that the biggest word he heard used in there was “hope” as they wonder when things will finally change after San Diego lost their third game in a row yesterday.
Antonio Gates admitted after the game that he was primarily a decoy out on the field during Sunday’s loss, with the San Diego Union-Tribune pointing out that he was essentially a decoy for all but eight of the Chargers’ first 60 offensive snaps, and played all but one of their final 10 snaps and made four catches for 50 yards, with the first of the catches being a four-yard touchdown.
And we’ll save the best for last – Nick Canepa tells Chargers fans to go ahead and assume that the Chargers 2010 season is “dead”, and has plenty of interesting thoughts to go along with why he feels that way.
So enjoy the fact that you’re not a Chargers fan, because there’s certainly plenty of misery out there in San Diego this morning. We’ll have more later on throughout the day, so be sure and keep an eye on the front page for updates.