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Patriots vs Chargers recap: New England offense stalls, still beats Los Angeles with 21-13 final score

The Patriots offense needs a tune up.

Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The second of the game between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Chargers was pretty much the same as the first half. The Chargers struggled to move the ball, except for one unstoppable drive in each half. The Patriots had no problem moving the ball down the field, but failed to produce once in scoring position.

Patriots running back Dion Lewis returned the opening kickoff of the second half an impressive 71 yards to the Chargers 25-yard line, but the Patriots went three-and-out gaining zero yards before settling for a 43-yard field goal attempt. So of course that terrible offensive drive was rewarded by Stephen Gostkowski completely missing the attempt.

The Chargers responded with a laughably inept drive of their own, moving all the way to the Patriots 29-yard line, before a negative run by Melvin Gordon and a 20-yard self-sack by Philip Rivers, who fumbled the football all the way back to midfield.

New England got the ball back and made their way to the 25-yard line on a 12 play, 52 yard drive, but they stalled again and settled for another field goal. Fortunately, Gostkowski made this one and gave the Patriots an 18-7 lead.

The Patriots defense stepped up again on the next drive, forcing another Chargers punt around midfield and the Patriots responded with a 16-play drive that only gained 55 yards. This drive ended- stop me if you’ve heard this before- on the 25-yard line where Gostkowski missed another field goal. Fortunately, this drive drained 7:50 off the game clock as the Patriots owned time of possession 36:59 to 23:01 on the day.

Naturally, the Chargers responded the missed field goal with a 4 play, 67 yard drive that included 30 yards off a defensive pass interference on Johnson Bademosi, a 6-yard run by Melvin Gordon, a 7-yard reception by Mike Williams, and then a 24-yard touchdown to Travis Benjamin over Malcolm Butler, on what was likely the first target in Butler’s direction all day. The Chargers failed to score on their two-point conversion and the Patriots still led 18-13.

New England got the ball with 8:30 left in the game and needing a big, clock draining drive to put the Chargers in a difficult situation. So when the Patriots gained just 23 yards on 4 plays and used just 1:25 of the game clock, giving the ball back to the Chargers with 7:05 left, the outcome of the game was still to be determined.

The Patriots defense rose to the occasion, yet again, forcing a punt after the Chargers gained just 17 yards and got the ball back to the New England offense that marched to the Los Angeles 8-yard line and used up 3:33 on the clock. Still, the offense settled for a field goal and a 21-13 lead instead of going for a touchdown, trusting the defense to do their job.

And do their job they did. Cornerback Jonathan Jones recorded an interception to end the game and the Patriots enter their bye week with a 6-2 record, coming off a 21-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.