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Monday, January 14, 2019

The most unfair duo in NFL history strikes again as the New England Patriots book spot in AFC Championship game

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The most unfair duo in NFL history strikes again as the New England Patriots book spot in AFC Championship game

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? Why do we ever doubt them

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady remain an unfair proposition coming off a bye week, picking apart an elite Los Angeles Chargers team in a dominant 41-28 win — which wasn’t as close as the score might suggest — to book a spot in their eighth straight AFC Championship game.
While Belichick and Brady, who are now 28-10 in the postseason together, are considered major advantages heading into almost every match-up, the Chargers, on paper and form, had the roster to trouble the Patriots.
Or so it seemed.

The pressure we thought the likes of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa would bring simply never got there; Phillip Rivers the quarterback forced to throw with big bodies coming at him.
And while the dangerous Los Angeles running back duo of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler were shut down, Pats rookie Sony Michel, James White, and Rex Burkhead were breezing through massive gaps created by a dominant offensive line.
New England’s physical domination allowed Brady, who threw for 343 yards and a touchdown, to stay untouched; the 41-year-old shining in an almost surgical performance.
The game was essentially over at half-time. It was a 35-7 scoreline at the break after the Patriots tallied 199 more yards and 18 more first downs than the underperforming Chargers, who had one first half turnover — a Desmond King fumble that led to a New England touchdown.
The Los Angeles defensive scheme that worked so well against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens was exposed by Belichik; the Patriots pounding the ball and using underneath routes.
Michel racked up 129 rushing yards and three touchdowns, Burkhead had one, while Phillip Dorsett was found by Brady for a 15-yard TD in the first quarter.
Julian Edelman turned 13 targets into nine receptions and 151 yards.

Keenan Allen broke free for a 43-yard touchdown early on, while Gordon, who had just 15 rushing yards on the day, got into the end zone at the end of the third quarter. Rivers found Virgil Green and Antonio Gates for touchdowns in the fourth, once the game was already out of reach.
Rivers, who has still never beaten Brady in eight attempts, finished with 331 passing yards, three touchdowns, and an interception.
The Patriots’ second half showing was quiet — just the two field goals — but that’s all they needed; mistake-free football ensuring the Chargers never sniffed a comeback.
Belichick’s men will go into Arrowhead Stadium next week on Monday, January 21 (AEDT), to face the high-flying Kansas City Chiefs for a spot in the Super Bowl.
“It’s going to be a good game,” Brady said of the Chiefs match-up.
“They’re a good team. We played them earlier this year. I know everybody thinks we suck and, you know, we can’t win any games, so we’ll see. It’ll be fun.”
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