The New England Patriots made the cross country flight to Los Angeles to take on the 3-8 Chargers. Sportsbooks viewed New England as +1.5 point underdogs, but the Pats would blow those expectations out of the water with a 45-0 victory. New England outplayed the Chargers on offense, defense, and even special teams.
With a win, the Patriots moved to 6-6 to stay two games out of a wild card spot with four games remaining on the schedule. LAC falls to 3-9 and are in the running for a top five pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
New England had some unlikely stars of the game in this Sunday afternoon contest. Gunner Olszewski had a punt return touchdown on the day and would total 145 return yards on 3 punt returns. He also showed up on the offensive side of the ball with a 38 yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter on a pass from Jarrett Stidham. Olszewski’s 38 receiving yards would lead all Patriots receivers on the day.
Adam Butler continued his impressive showing as of late with 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, and a pass deflection. Chase Winovich dropped back into coverage and recorded an interception off of Offensive Rookie of the Year front runner Justin Herbert. Winovich would also total 2 Quarterback hits on the rookie. Josh Uche made his presence known with 3 Quarterback hits. The future is certainly bright for New England’s pass rush with Winovich and Uche.
Cam Newton did not have a stellar day, but he did not have to in this one. He completed 12/19 passes and only threw for 69 yards. Newton did total 48 rushing yards on 14 attempts with 2 rushing touchdowns to go along with his 1 passing touchdown.
New England’s next three games all come against teams with 8 wins. The Pats will stay in LA for a matchup with the Los Angeles Rams this Thursday. Their last three games are all against divisional opponents. Following the Rams game, they will travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins and then will close the season in Foxborough with games against the Buffalo Bills and the 0-12 New York Jets.
The Patriots will have to win out if they want any shot at making the playoffs. New England have been able to get by teams without a great showing from Newton, but the former Panther will need to show that MVP form that he flashed earlier in the season against the Seattle Seahawks for the Pats to clinch a spot in the postseason.