The Pats did it their way Sunday, and because of it, they will be leaving the cold and wind of Foxborough for the sun and heat of Glendale, Arizona. It might not have been as easy as it was in week two, but the Patriots did what they had to do, beating the Chargers 21-12 at home Sunday to move on to Super Bowl XXLII for a showdown with either the Giants or Packers.
Tom Brady didn’t play his best game of the season by far, but he was bailed out by a solid running attack from Laurence Maroney (122 yards on 25 carries and one TD), and Kevin Faulk (8 catches for 82 yards). Brady threw three picks, and each time his defense, a defense that was hailed as too slow and old before the season, bailed him out. The QB was 22-for-33 for 209 yards with two TD’s and three picks.
New England controlled the tempo, putting heat on Chargers Philip Rivers at key times in the game, and then in the fourth quarter they had a huge time consuming drive that started at the 8:34 mark and ended with them celebrating with the Ralph Wilson trophy. They will be at least 7-10 point favorites heading to Arizona, and they should be. It wasn’t the prettiest effort of the season for the Pats, but it was good enough, and for this squad – that’s all that matters.