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Home » New England PatriotsOctober 2005 » Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!

Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!

Week 4: October 2, 2005
Chargers (2-2), 41
Patriots (2-2), 17

I watched the first half of this game in a sports bar directly across Federal Street from PNC Park before my flight out of Pittsburgh. Since it was the Steelers’ bye week, the projection screens showed the Chargers-Patriots match-up. I’m sure Steeltown fans were particularly pleased with the second half of this game, but perhaps also confounded by how the Chargers were able to manhandle the Patriots, who had beaten their team just a week earlier.

If I were able consume alcohol for pleasure or had a higher tolerance of cigarette smoke, I would truly enjoy the sports bar experience. From the perfect perch of a revolving barstool I could watch Jaret Wright get shelled while Corey Dillon followed Richard Seymour into the end zone for the Patriots’ first touchdown of the game. The best vice available to me was the copious amounts of greasy food. Paramount on the menu for me was the highly vaunted pierogie, a peculiarly Pittsburgh specialty that is the essence of anti-Atkins dining with its doughy goodness enveloping potato and cheese, cottage cheese and chives, sauerkraut and potato, or beef.

Mercifully, I didn’t witness firsthand the drubbing of the Patriots in the second half, in which they were outscored 24-0. Had I stayed much longer at Hightops, it was likely that I would transform into a human-sized pierogie, much like those that race at every Pittsburgh Pirates game.

I’m going to go out on a not so precarious limb and guess that San Diego will win every statistical category I cover convincingly. However, I will risk stating that, barring injury to key positions such as quarterback, running back, wide receiver, defensive end, or placekicker, the Patriots will not suffer such a defeat for the remainder of the season. This loss will be the nadir to which New England will never sink again

  • The Chargers gained 212 yards in the first half and 241 the second, the only team that increased its offensive production after halftime against the Patriots the season so far. The Patriots split was 253/56 for an alarming decrease of 78%. Advantage: San Diego.
  • Turnovers did not play a large part in the game since the two interceptions New England relinquished happened late in the game and served only to pad San Diego’s time of possession and points. Tom Brady’s pass intended for David Givens in the 4th quarter with 4:38 left led to a San Diego punt after a 2:45 drive in which the Chargers had a touchdown nullified due to an offensive holding penalty. With 46 seconds remaining in the game, backup quarterback Matt Cassel was intercepted by Donnie Edwards, who lateraled to Clinton Hart for a 40-yard touchdown run. Advantage (for what it’s worth): San Diego.
  • The Chargers were an outstanding 3 for 4 in the red zone for a 75% efficiency rating while the Patriots struggled with 1 for 3 for 33%. Advantage: San Diego.
  • New England had its lowest penalty count of the season with only 4 infractions for 62 yards, but this seemed to be a product of its paltry 23:22 time of possession rather than crisper play. San Diego had a greater number of penalties with 7, but it only cost them 50 yards. Advantage: San Diego.
  • The Chargers converted 7 of 12 third downs (58%) while the Patriots were 4 of 11 (36%). Advantage: San Diego.

In all phases of the game the defending Super Bowl champions looked anything but, while the Chargers proved they are better than their 1-2 record going into Gillette Stadium led observers to believe. The Patriots were feeble on defense without their captain, safety Rodney Harrison. The New England secondary has not had an interception yet this season, and without an opportunistic defense it seems unlikely the Patriots will be able to fend off its stronger opponents such as the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos. Until Eric Mangini can solve the conundrum of a secondary without Harrison, expect the seesaw between triumphs and defeats to continue.

Game Leaders
Drew Brees: 19/24, 248 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Tom Brady: 19/32, 224 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
LaDainian Tomlinson: 25 carries, 134 yards, 2 TD, 11 yard longest gain
Corey Dillon: 14 carries, 63 yards, 1 TD, 29 yard longest gain
Antonio Gates: 6 receptions, 108 yards, 0 TD, 38 yard longest gain
David Givens: 6 receptions, 66 yards, 0 TD, 18 yard longest gain
Donnie Edwards: 9 tackles, 2 assists, 1 INT
Bhawoh Jue: 4 tackles, 1 assists, 1 INT

Mike Vrabel: 10 tackles, 1 assist

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