This is the fifth time the Chargers have opened a season 4-0 (2002, 1994, 1980, 1966 and 1961). In 1994, the Bolts opened the season 6-0 before suffering their first defeat of the season to the Denver Broncos, 20-15, Oct. 23 at Jack Murphy Stadium.
LaDainian Tomlinson ran for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns in the game. His 217 yards tied the team rushing record set by Gary Anderson against Kansas City on Dec. 18, 1988. Tomlinson's previous career best was 145 yards against the Chiefs last Dec. 23. Tomlinson's 506 rushing yards are the most in team history through the first four games of any given season.
Not only did the offensive line pave the way for the Charger running game, they also allowed 0 sacks. Jason Ball played a great game. He was tested early with stunts and blitzes that came right over him and responded well with a key block that triggered a 37 yard touchdown run by Tomlinson.
Junior Seau playing on a sprained ankle led the Chargers with 9 tackles. Rodney Harrison, returning from a groin injury, contributed 8 tackles.
Quentin Jammer was tested only a few times. David Patten beat him on one play where it looked like Jammer had position but was tentative in his coverage. On the next play Jammer came back and nailed Marc Edwards as he came across the middle to make a catch. The pass went incomplete.
Drew Brees was 10-18 for 104 yards. Brees completed a 54 yard touchdown pass to Curtis Conway, the longest pass of his career and had no interceptions.
Steve Christie had a field goal attempt of 50 yards blocked.
On the first San Diego drive of the game Fred McCrary fumbled the ball which was recovered by linebacker Mike Vrabel. 2 series later Vrabel caught a 1 yard touchdown pass from Brady.
RB Jesse Chatman, S Robert Carswell, CB Davis Sanchez, RB Joey Goodspeed, DT Dequincy Scott, WR Eric Parker and DE Chris Demaree were the Chargers inactive players.
The Patriots, led by Tom Brady, crossed midfield on all 10 of their possessions but were only able to capitalize twice. Only 3 of those drives ended in punts. 2 drives were stalled on interceptions, one by Donnie Edwards and the other by Ryan McNeil. 1 drive ended on downs as the Patriots were unsuccessful on a 4th and 1. Ben Leber stopped Marc Edwards on the play for no gain. Adam Vinatieri missed a 41 yard FG, snapping a streak of 11 straight field goals made. The last drive ended on a fumble as Kevin Faulk tried to lateral the ball with time winding down in the 4th quarter and Alex Molden jumped on the loose ball.
Troy Brown did not play and Deion Branch a rookie from Louisville filled in admirably nabbing 13 catches for 128 yards.
Brady ended the day 36-53 for 353 yards. Brady also threw 2 interceptions and 2 touchdowns.
Cam Cleeland, the leading receiving tight end for the Patriots, was inactive for the game, and Daniel Graham played well in the first half before leaving with an elbow injury. S Lawyer Milloy, CB Jimmy Hitchcock, LB Ted Johnson, G Joe Andruzzi, T Thomas Ashworth, WR Troy Brown, TE Cam Cleeland and DE Rick Lyle were the other inactive players.
Sunday's attendance of 66,463 was the sixth highest home crowd in team history. It was the most at a Chargers home game since Dec. 15 of last season against Oakland, when the crowd was 67,349, the third highest total in team history.
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