So much went on in this one, we needed to bring you a special postgame edition of 10 Quotes and a Cloud of Dust.
Here are the top 10 quotes from the postgame of the Patriots' 24-21 win over the Chargers:
10. "Wow, what a game. I'm really speechless."
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
Translation: "Seriously. You saw that game. What can I say? I'm speechless."
9. "I was upset, very upset. When you go to the middle of the field and you start doing the dance that Shawne Merriman is known for, that's disrespect to me and I can't sit there and watch that. Just the fact they showed no class at all, absolutely no class and maybe it comes from the head coach."
Chargers running back LaDanian Tomlinson
Translation: "Look, I know Shawne's dance is idiotic and foolish and shows no respect for the other team when he does it, but he's my guy. I have to defend my guys. He was practically in tears in there. And no one offered him a Diet Pepsi."
8. "No comment."
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, when asked about Tomlinson's comments after the game.
Translation: "Guys, I'm pretty smart, right? Do you really think I'm getting sucked into this conversation? No thanks. I have a plane to catch."
7. "You have to be able to manage your emotions better than we did on a couple of occasions."
Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer, on the penalties that gave the Patriots multiple chances and better field position
Translation: "Those idiots might cost me my job."
6. "Why would I knock the ball down? He threw it right to me."
Chargers safety Marlon McCree when asked why he didn't knock down Tom Brady's 4th down pass (which he intercepted but fumbled back to the Patriots)
Translation: "I don't care if it was 4th down. Batting the ball down or taking a knee doesn't get me on SportsCenter now does it?"
5. "If it's incomplete, it's their ball anyway, so you're trying to squeeze it in there. He intercepted it and fortunately it was intercepted or we wouldn't have gotten the ball back."
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on his throw to Troy Brown that was intercepted but fumbled back to the Patriots
Translation: "That's just the way we drew it up: 4th down interception, Troy Brown knocks it loose, Reche Caldwell recovers. We call that one Omaha, X-right, slant, fumblerooski recover."
4. "I thought we had a play that we could use that would make the yardage. And the intention was to be very aggressive, and I thought we had a play that would get it and Cam [Cameron] said I've got one and we went ahead and did it."
Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer on the failed 4th-and-11 in the 1st quarter
Translation: "Everybody says, 'Well Marty can't win the big ones,' and 'Marty chokes in the big games.' So I told my offensive coordinator to do whatever he wanted. 4th-and-11 and he wants to go for it? We go for it. Whatever. They're probably going to fire me anyway, so what do I care?"
3. "No. That's just the way the game went. We did what we felt gave us the best chance to win."
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, You threw it more than 50 times. Was that the plan coming in?
Translation: "Yes, our plan was to have an awful rushing attack and have our quarterback throw the ball 50 times even though he clearly has a sore arm or shoulder or something. That was our plan. You cracked the code."
2. "He's doing great. He's very poised for his age and he's got a very strong leg. He's just booting through. Cross your fingers, hope it lasts another week."
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on kicker Stephen Gostkowski
Translation: "I hold my breath every time he's kicking, but it worked out great today, didn't it?"
1. "The ball had great spin and came off my shin at the right place. It just felt good."
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski on the final field goal
Translation: "Adam who?"
Some of the Chargers will get to play in one Bowl game in a few weeks. The Pro Bowl. But the lights went out on Marty Schottenheimer and the Chargers' Super Bowl plans at the hands of the Patriots. New England moves on to another AFC Championship Game and another playoff meeting with the Indianapolis Colts. There should be a lot of talking this week as the hype builds for Sunday night's match-up. We'll keep track of it all and be back Saturday with another edition of 10 Quotes and a Cloud of Dust.
Darren is a regular contributor to Patriots Insider. You can find him in the forums under the name: DestinationSuperBowl. You can also find archives of his columns on the Insiders by searching for "Darren Kelly"