Week 14 Live Blog: Patriots @ Chargers

The 9-3 New England Patriots are in San Diego to face the 8-4 Chargers in a game that not only is a potential playoff preview, it also may decide the number one seed in the playoffs. Philip Rivers and the Chargers passing offense has been great, but can they have the same success against maybe the best secondary in football? Can the Chargers get a pass rush on Brady?

7:59 P.M.- Welcome to Qualcomm Stadium in sunny San Diego. We are close to 30 minutes from kickoff of this important AFC showdown. Let's take a look at the Patriots and Chargers inactives.

Patriots Inactives: CB Alfonzo Dennard, LB Dont'a Hightower, DE Chandler Jones, RB James White, LB Chris White, OL Cam Fleming, G Jordan Devey

Chargers Inactives: RB Ronnie Brown, WR Dontrelle Inman, G Jeff Baca, NT Damion Square, TE David Johnson, NT Ryan Carrethers, LB Cordarro Law

8:25 P.M.- The Patriots win the toss but defer to the second half. Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense will get the ball first.

8:36 P.M.- The Chargers picked up a couple first downs, but a well timed blitz on third down netted a sack for Jamie Collins. The Patriots offense takes over at their own seven.

8:51 P.M.- Is Josh McDaniels ever going to get a clue? Why not run on second down or even third down? Your offense just ran the ball right down San Diego' throat and then you throw twice from the ONE YARD LINE? That's awful Stephen Gostkowski came in and drilled the short field goal and the Patriots leave four points on the field because Josh McDaniels is an awful red-zone playcaller. Patriots 3, Chargers 0

9:07 P.M.- Touchdown, Chargers; Malcom Floyd with the 15 yard catch from Philip Rivers. If the Patriots are going to win this game, they better start generating a pass rush or this is going to be a long night. The Chargers have no fear of Brandon Browner. Chargers 7, Patriots 3

9:16 P.M.- Well this isn't what I expected; Brandon LaFell with a huge fumble on what would have been a first down, and Darrell Stuckey scoops it up and takes it 53 yards for the touchdown. Ugly start for New England. Chargers 14, Patriots 3

9:30 P.M.- Major red zone issues for the Patriots right now; Nate Solder simply cannot block speed rushers and now it's starting to affect the run game too. Rob Gronkowski had a 30 yard catch to highlight the drive but they couldn't find him in the red zone. Chargers 14, Patriots 6

9:35 P.M.- Welcome to the game, Patriots! Three-and-out for the defense and a blocked punt for Brandon Bolden. Tom Brady and the offense take over at the Chargers 25. Chargers punter Mike Scifres was injured on the play and it appears he'll be done for night, maybe longer (looked like a collarbone injury). Chargers 14, Patriots 6

9:43 P.M.- Touchdown, Patriots! Tom Brady stepped up and ran three yards for a first down, then followed it up with a 14-yard touchdown pass. The Chargers tried to get cute and put Flowers on Gronk one-on-one; how stupid can you be? Brady saw it right away and wasted little time throwing to his top target. Chargers 14, Patriots 13

9:50 P.M.- Very STUPID penalty by Kyle Arrington; why try to trip him? It's 2nd and 29, even if he picks up 15 yards, it's still third and long. Now the Chargers have a first down and a chance to drive in the final two minutes of the half. Stupid Kyle, just plain stupid.

9:54 P.M.- After the Arrington braincramp, the defense steps up and gets the ball back to Brady and the offense. Let's see if the Patriots can pull off their patented "score at the end of the half and opening possession of the second half" maneuver.

10:00 P.M.- Terrible decision by Tom Brady leads to a Mant'i Teo interception. Rob Gronkowski was wide open but Brady was getting hit and completely underthrew him. Tough way to end the half but to only be down one after that mess of a half is a blessing. Patriots receive to open the second half. Chargers 14, Patriots 13

10:03 P.M.- HALFTIME

10:15 P.M.- Brady and the offense head onto the field to start the second half. Let's see if the Patriots can limit turnovers and start playing smarter football.

10:17 P.M.- The Chargers defense steps up and gets a three-and-out that could end up being huge in this game. The offensive line needs to wake up and stop getting beat or they're going to be the reason New England loses this game.

10:21 P.M.- The Patriots defense step up and pick up a much needed three-and-out. The loss of punter Mike Scifres is already evident in the field position game. The Patriots offense takes over at the Chargers 48 yard line. Charger 14, Patriots 13

10:26 P.M.- Uuuugly; New England simply can't get anything going offensively. The Chargers have one of the weakest pass rushes in football, yet the Patriots offensive line is making them look like the Giants in 2007.

10:30 P.M.- This game is turning into a defensive battle; New England forces another three-and-out and will take over.

10:35 P.M.- It's beginning to look like the defense will need to score to win this game. On first down, Dan Connelly jumps offside to make it first and 15. On second down, Mr. Predictable calls a screen to Gronk, who was double teamed, and on third down the line can't give Brady enough time to make a play. That's the story of the night for the Patriots offense.

10:40 P.M.- The Patriots just got screwed; that hit was clean and should have been a Patriots touchdown.

10:45 P.M.- The defense ends up with the turnover anyways, this time Akeem Ayers dropping back in coverage to make the interception. Let's see if the offense can wake up.

10:48 P.M.- There is really nothing more to say- the Patriots offense is out of sync tonight and it will be a miracle if they score again. The negated Devin McCourty touchdown is going to loom large.

10:52 P.M.- Great defensive play on third down by Devin McCourty; the Patriots defense is here to play. Can the offense do ANYTHING?

11:03 P.M.- The offense FINALLY puts together a drive and Stephen Gostkowski connects on a 38-yard field goal to give the Patriots their first lead since the first quarter. Tom Brady has made some ugly throws tonight. Patriots 16, Chargers 14

11:08 P.M.- Philip Rivers with an "Uncle Rico" type throw on third down and the Patriots defense forces the Chargers offense off the field again. If New England can put together a touchdown drive, that could be the nail in the Chargers coffin, but with the way the Pats offense has played, that's a lot to ask for.

11:11 P.M.- Touchdown, Patriots! Tom Brady hits Julian Edelman for a 69-yard touchdown pass and the New England offense finally hits a big play. With 8:41 to go, the Chargers offense better get going or this game is over. Patriots 23, Chargers 14

11:18 P.M.- New England' pass rush has been excellent tonight and that series was no different. The Chargers are forced to punt again and the New England offense takes over at their own 12. If the Patriots can mount either a long drive or a score, they can seal this game up. Patriots 23, Chargers 14

11:28 P.M.- Good drive by the Patriots offense simply for taking a lot of crucial time off the clock. LeGarrette Blount had some big runs and the offensive line stepped up when they needed to.

11:37 P.M.- The clock hits zero and the Patriots are back in the win column again. The defense was awesome tonight, especially considering the injuries they were dealing with. Akeem Ayers, Jamie Collins, Rob Ninkovich, Alan Branch and Darrelle Revis all deserve a game ball for this win. The offense had a tough stretch in the second and especially the third quarter, but they woke up in the fourth and made the plays they needed to pick up a HUGE road win over a quality team. I said it in the preview- the Chargers are always tough, but New England finds a way to get it done. Join us next week for the Patriots vs. the Dolphins in Foxboro.

Final Score: Patriots 23, Chargers 14

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