The Expatriated Patriots Fan: Patriots at Chargers – In Game Thoughts


Dec 7, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) on his way to 69-yard touchdown catch and run during the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. The Patriot went on to win 23-14. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Expatriated Patriots Fan: New and views from outside New England

Patriots at Chargers – In Game Thoughts.

Here is my second attempt at streaming my in game thoughts. (and man, does it slow down writing my Power Rankings)

This is the second game in a row we have had the privilege to watch from home. With 3 division games against teams where we should be heavily favored coming up, all at 1:00, my guess is I won’t be seeing any of those on local TV in Richmond. Maybe I will break down and spring for the Direct TV online Season Ticket. They are charging only $99 for the rest of the season, and I will spend that easy in 2 trips to a sports bar. I will have to think about that.

This could be a tough game. Two weeks on the road, San Diego is playing well, and to be honest, I am a bit worried about the curse of the Bieber. That guy could screw up a train wreck!

So, well lubricated from Eggnog and a bit of an additive … I sat down to watch the Pats take on the Chargers on National TV. (Warning, I get a bit despondent in the 3rd quarter. I swear it was the Eggnog!)

1st Quarter.

1st Chargers’ possession.

  • We HAVE to get a better pass rush going. That was like 8 seconds.
  • Request answered, as Collins came through unblocked. Look like a chargers error though as he was untouched. Still, I will take the stop.

1st Patriots’ Possession

  • That run was an ugly first offensive play to the game.
  • Wow, Edelman came through there. 3rd and 12 from the goal line had me nervous, I won’t lie.
  • Blount’s second and 3rd effort there was awesome for the first down.
  • And he follows that up with an 11 yard run for another first!
  • And about 6… (with 5 yard penalty added in)
  • I would like to see Gray get a chance again, but Blount is pretty awesome as well.
  • What was that backwards pitch? Broken play? At least it worked.
  • 1-10 inside red zone. Gray actually got a carry. For 7
  • Two decent runs by Gray, but Blount is crushing it.
  • Nice drive, but settling for a FG doesn’t feel good, and we got lucky with that offsides. Well, kind of lucky, since blocking a FG is easier when you have a two-step head start before the ball is snapped.

2 Chargers’ possession

  • This second possession for the Chargers is keeping our O off the field for a long time, tiring the D, and moving the ball well. Don’t like that.
  • Annnd we’re behind. I knew I didn’t feel good about that FG.

2nd Quarter

2nd Patriots’ Possession

  • Hard to believe this is only the 2nd time we have the ball, and there is 12 minutes left in the second. Wow.
  • SON OF A **** Fumble and run back for a TD.
  • 14-3 Sigh
  • THAT was a huge play. Needless to say. I can feel 1st seed sinking away. Looks like a return trip to Denver for the playoffs.
  • Does this mean LaFell gets benched, ah la Ridley ?

3rd Patriots’ Possession

  • GRONK to start!
  • There’s LaFell again, even if TB overthrew him. At least he is still in.
  • And he gets a 1st down there. Can’t do the fumble thing again though.
  • We have to stop letting them hit Blount in the backfield. He still got 2 on that throw. 2 more shots at the EZ from the 3.
  • Can’t believe we had to take a TO there. Better than a delay of game I suppose.
  • FG’s are NOT going to get it done. I am getting a bad feeling about this. Of course, it is better than a pick, which it nearly was.

3rd Chargers’ possession

  • This is going to look funny from a time of possession standpoint, with the Pats having 3 possessions, and 2 long ones to the chargers 2 so far, but the score being 14-6.
  • Close, but 3 and out. I will take that and hope our O wakes up in the red zone finally.
  • And a blocked punt. Wow. I expected a flag. Bolden is my MAN. For the minute anyway.

4th Patriots’ Possession

  • Always got to worry about TB scrambling for the first. Ha, almost got through that without laughing. But it worked here …
  • And TB To GRONK! Finally. Still 13-14 though, unless we go for 2.
  • So if we go for 2 and miss, we need a FG to be up. Now, we kick the extra point, and we still need a FG to be up. (the only time when this might pay off is if we got a safety. But that is what, like once every 3 years. Why the heck didn’t we go for 2?

4th Chargers’ possession

  • Ok, 2nd and 29 seems pretty good. Why am I nervous then?
  • Well, that would be why. Tripping, automatic first down. Freak’n really?
  • That would have been about 3rd and 23. We would have had a good chance to get the ball back and score again before the half. Sloppy, sloppy sloppy. Now it’s the 2:00 minute warning and first down. The Chargers will at least run the clock out now. D*** it.
  • 3rd and 5, can we hold them?
  • And we did, with 1:40 left, and they don’t have a punter. Let’s see what happens here. Still mad about the tripping though.
  • And we get it at the 40. Not too bad. Even an FG would help here. (and it would still be enough if we had gone for 2 and missed.

5th Patriots’ Possession

  • What the heck was that Brady. Way too high. 3rd down now, way to blow a chance.
  • Or not. Shows how little faith I have. TB to Gronk for the 1st.
  • And a flag on the follow up play.
  • Vereen in the open field is always exciting to watch.
  • 18 seconds left. Close enough for FG now, plus we will get the ball. Unless Brady throws a pick right here!!! D*** it! Sigh …
  • Really, we could have been up and got the ball. That was huge. I think the Patriots must like the Denver area skiing in January.

2nd Half

3rd quarter

1st Patriots’ Possession

  • If we could stop giving the ball away in the 2nd half, we could probably win this. We are moving the ball. But a 2-1 give away ratio isn’t going to work. (I am counting the blocked punt, even though that is not technically a turnover)
  • NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. Why did you stop Blount? On a 3rd and 1. That never, never, never, never works. 3 and out. Wow. Flashback to Maroney.
  • Nice punt at least.

1st Chargers’ possession

  • 3 and out.

2nd Patriots’ Possession

  • Good field position at least. About the 50.
  • We need to be running a lot more. I hate the playcalling here. 3 and out. Again.
  • I can’t help but feel that we SHOULD win this game, but we are not going to.

2nd Chargers’ possession

  • A big sack by Nink, for a 3 and out. Chargers punting from their end zone.
  • OK punt actually, but still good field position for the Pats. Maybe they will choose to use it this time

3rd Patriots’ Possession

  • And we begin with a false start. Nice…
  • And a pass for a loss of 6 yards. 2nd and 21. Really, can we play worse?
  • A positive play. YAY. 3rd and only 14.
  • And our 3rd consecutive 3 and out. The offense is giving more than the defense is. I don’t think we deserve to win this one.

3rd Chargers’ possession

  • And Tyms moves us the Chargers from the 18 to to the 33 with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. So very nice.
  • And Browner takes us from a pick to another 15 yards. On replay, that was an awful penalty though. Things are just not going our way. What a huge change of events there for a play that Browner tried to keep as clean as he could.
  • Maybe that will get us mad. That was a bad, bad call.
  • 3rd and 12, and we give it up. Really. So much for getting mad.
  • I hope that flag was on the Chargers. Yep, finally we get a break.
  • PICK!. Just go down and keep it. We don’t need anything else going wrong. Man that Ayers trade has been paying off.

4th Patriots’ Possession

  • Well, I got my run, for a loss of 3. Blount is looking slow here. Not sure what we need to do to wake up the O.
  • And 4 straight 3 and outs. The D is doing its job. The O is wretched tonight. I think it is the curse of the Biebs!
  • Great punt and tackle at least. I am getting tired of saying that.

4th Chargers’ possession

  • Novak is getting decent at punting now. Which isn’t a good sign, since we can’t score even from the 50 it seems like.

5th Patriots’ Possession

  • Gronk fights for those extra yards. He probably figures if he doesn’t get the first there (which he didn’t going for only 8) we will go 3 and out.
  • NOPE, we got a FIRST! First first down of the quarter! I feel like we have scored. (almost) Maybe we can give the D some rest. They have earned it.
  • 4 Quarter
  • I was typing, and missed the change of quarters. Looked up, and the ball was going the wrong way…
  • Don’t dance back like that LaFell. He got the first, but dangerous.
  • Something is wrong with Blount. He looks slow. Did he pull something? He has run for a loss the last 2 or 3 times. We need Gray in. Or Vereen. Or even Bolden. I like Blount, but something is wrong.
  • And a 20 yard pass on a 3rd and 3, so that we end up kicking an FG. Of course, that will put us up, so WAY better than the last 4 possessions.
  • And we are up. But not by much. Still wish we had gone for 2 in the 1st

5th Chargers’ possession

  • Not sure what that last pass by Rivers was … should have been a pick, but I will take it. We are up and getting the ball back.
  • Would have been decent field position, but the penalty puts us back. Oh well, as I said, I will take it after the garbage we had been dealing with in the 3rd

6th Patriots’ Possession

  • Well, THAT was quick. And yes … I will take it. Nice! Edelman almost lost his pants on that missed tackle, but awesome job by Mini-Tron. Longest reception of his career. 1 play for the TD!
  • And we are up by 2 scores suddenly. Wow. I think the defense will earn the game ball if we win this one, keeping us in it while the O stunk it up.

6th Chargers’ possession

  • Rivers had all time to throw, and I thought they were going break that one off after the missed tackle. Ouch. Can’t afford slip ups like that in what has been good defensive game.
  • Couldn’t happen at a better time. Unless we get another one on this upcoming 3rd down.
  • NO NO NO NO ok. I will take that. I thought we were going to let Rivers rush for the 1st Whew! 4th and 4.

7 Patriots’ Possession

  • Ok, just over 6 minutes left, and up 2 scores. We need to burn some clock. And a score would be nice as well. .
  • It’s a 3rd and two. Bring in the full back and run it! Never mind, Brady decided to run it himself anyway. Come on McDaniels. Get a clue.
  • I think he was hit on that throw. Lucky, it wasn’t picked, not much on that.
  • OK, that run by Blount helps make up for a lot. First down, decent field position change, stayed in bounds to keep the clock running. Clock is our friend now.

7th Chargers’ possession

  • OK, 2 minutes left, 2 scores down, no timeouts. Not impossible, but it will be tough. I am almost feeling safe here. In the 3rd quarter, I didn’t imagine I would be feeling this way by now.
  • I they have to go for this 4th
  • CLOSE, but that is GAME. Nice hit by Wilson!

Wow. Not an awesome game, but the D really held firm when they needed to. They only gave up one score. (The other was the fumble run back) And we kept the first seed. This was probably the toughest game left on the schedule. Miami may be no give-me, and Rex Ryan, no matter how downtrodden, always gives us a hard time.

But … we are now 3 games up in the division, with 3 left. Miami would have to win out, and we lose out, to lose the division. And after this, I have to say we have the inside track on the 1st seed, which is HUGE as opposed to possibly visiting Denver again. And we overcame the curse of Justin Bieber. (No mean feat, that)

Overall … I’ll take it!