Quick-hit thoughts after 3rd quarter

SAN DIEGO – Quick-hit thoughts at after the third quarter of the Patriots’ game against the Chargers, with the Patriots leading 20-3:

Impressive opening drive of the second half. After the offense struggled for most of the first half, a no-huddle approach upped the tempo and the Patriots strung together an 18-play drive (including penalties). It was one of their most impressive drives of the season.

Danny Woodhead does it again. The running back was on the field for 11 of the team’s 18 plays (including penalties) on the opening drive of the second half. His catch-and-run on second-and-long set up BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ 1-yard touchdown run.

Ryan Wendell in at left guard. The Patriots made a personnel switch at the start of the second half, replacing left guard Dan Connolly with Ryan Wendell. The Patriots have been having some protection issues off the left side of the line and the change could be designed to combat that.

Defense back on its heels. The defense, which held its own in the first half, was back on its heels on the Chargers’ drive after Green-Ellis’ touchdown. A sack from rookie end Brandon Deaderick was a big play that set up fourth-and-7 at the end of the quarter, with the ball on the New England 10.