As originally posted here
Tom Brady followed his 517-yard passing performance with 423 yards Sunday as the New England Patriots defeated the San Diego Chargers 35-21 in Foxboro, Mass.
Brady went 31-for-40, throwing for three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Patriots defense forced four turnovers, including a fourth-and-goal ending at the 1-yard line when linebacker Jerod Mayo stuffed Mike Tolbert short of the end zone. The Patriots responded going 99-yards, culminating in one of two Brady touchdown passes to tight end Rob Gronkowski.
This was the second straight game where the Patriots drove 99-yards for a score, although it took more than one play Sunday.
Chargers’ Vincent Jackson led all receivers with 10 receptions for 172 yards and two scores, while Deion Branch led all Patriots receivers with eight receptions for 129 yards and no scores.
Despite a 378-yard passing performance and throwing for two scores, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers could not overcome the turnovers by the staunch and opportunistic Patriots defense. Rivers contributed two of the turnovers with interceptions.
The Patriots had firm control throughout the first half going up 20-7 with contributions from kicker Stephen Gostkowski’s two field goals from 22 and 47 yards, respectively and scoring catches from tight ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.
Patriots’ defensive tackle Vince Wilfork got his first career interception late in the first half while the Chargers were driving.
The Patriots, on a questionable play call, opted to go for it on 4th-and-4. They turned the ball over on downs at the San Diego 49 when Brady missed a pass meant for Deion Branch.
The Patriots defense recovered the ball three plays later when linebacker Rob Ninkovich recovered a fumble forced by Mayo at the New England 39.
Brady methodically handled the Chargers defense for four plays and 69 yards culminating in another score to Gronkowski. Running back Danny Woodhead ran for the two-point conversion to make it a 28-14 lead.
Chargers responded on Rivers’ 26-yard scoring pass to Jackson with 5:40 left to play. Patriots closed the game with a 16-yard scoring run from BenJarvus Green-Ellis.