Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
SAN DIEGO -- How many ways can we explain the New England Patriots' offense is straining?
Plenty of examples from Sunday night's 30-10 loss to the San Diego Chargers illustrate the Patriots' woes.
For instance, the Patriots were atrocious on third down. The Patriots converted all five of their third downs when they had 4 or fewer yards to gain. But they failed on all nine of their attempts of more than 4 yards.
They converted one third down with a pass. One.
Why did Patriots receiver Randy Moss after the game tell a radio reporter to "get the [expletive] out" of his face? Probably because of the 10 times Matt Cassel threw to Moss, only three were completions. They went for 26 yards.
And then there was New England's chance to draw within a touchdown on its first series of the third quarter. Cassel needed eight plays to drive the Patriots into a first-and-goal situation from the Chargers' 1-yard line.
Automatic, you say.
Check this: Cassel incompletion. Sammy Morris run for no gain. Cassel incompletion. Cassel sacked.
The Elias Sports Bureau reported the Patriots reached the 1-yard and failed to score for the first time since the 2003 season opener.