Chargers are no reward

Tom Brady and New England separated the men from the boys on Sunday with a 37-16 victory. The Patriots move on to battle San Diego this week.

Tom Brady improved his career playoff record to 11-1 (.917), and did not throw an interception in his 34 attempts, improving his NFL-record low playoff interception percentage to .012 (five interceptions in 401 attempts). Additionally, Brady improved his career marks to:

19-2 in games played on Christmas or later in the NFL season
39-7 on in games played on Thanksgiving or later in the NFL season
23-1 on artificial turf (including 2-0 in the playoffs)
62-2 when leading at halftime (including 9-0 in the playoffs)
30-8 against AFC East teams (including 1-0 in the playoffs)

Marlon McCree, who came over as a free agent from the Panthers, has faced Patriots QB Tom Brady twice, splitting the games. But he said that - and the Chargers previous games against the Patriots - mean zilch in the playoffs.

"Whatever we have done in the past is irrelevant because none of us have played them in the postseason," he said. "He's only got one loss in the postseason so he's another animal (then) and we have to prepare really well for him."

"I have seen him play a bunch of other quarterbacks this year and he is one of the best in the league," Brady said of Shawne Merriman. "We have our work cut out for us. I don't think we know a whole lot about this team besides LaDainian (Tomlinson) and Merriman. They have a bunch of great players so we have our hands full."

After defeating their AFC East rivals, the Patriots reward is traveling to San Diego to take on the 14-2 Chargers.

San Diego has the NFL's best record and a league-leading nine Pro Bowlers. The Patriots know they'll need their best performance of the year on Sunday if they plan on getting by the explosive Chargers.

"Hands-down the best team in the NFL, hands-down," Wilfork said. "It's going to be a tough challenge. I think all three phases of the game - defense, special teams, and the offense - they have weapons everywhere. So in order for us to win that game we have to bring our A game. If we play an A-minus' or a 'B game, we will lose that game. It will be an exciting football game, it will be a dog fight. Right now we just have to enjoy this game for a couple more hours and then get started on San Diego."

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