8:15 PM ET, September 16, 2007
Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- Bill Belichick's "genius" is often credited for winning games and Super Bowls for the New England Patriots.This time, the players won one for their coach and demonstrated they don't need to spy on the opposition to succeed."After everything that went on this week, we wanted to do our best for him," said Tom Brady, who threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns as New England routed San Diego 38-14 Sunday night.The game came three days after the NFL fined Belichick $500,000 and the team another $250,000 for spying on the New York Jets. The Patriots also will forfeit what is almost sure to be a first-round draft pick next spring.Brady got major help from several players acquired during the offseason to try to get the Patriots back to the Super Bowl. New England has missed out for two straight years after winning three championships in four seasons. Randy Moss had two touchdown catches and his second straight 100-yard receiving game, and Adalius Thomas returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown.
New England came out in a high-tempo, single-back set that spread out Tom Brady's receiving options. This put pressure on the Chargers' secondary, the weakness of their defense, and pulled their pass rushing outside linebackers farther away from the ball, making it easier for the Pats to recognize blitzes. Brady sat back and chose the matchup he liked best without a great deal of opposition from San Diego while timing his shots downfield extremely well. After keeping the tempo up and affecting the stamina of the Chargers' defense, New England finally mixed in some running plays and play action. Brady was a maestro who orchestrated an outstanding offensive game plan with precision and poise. His ability to look off and manipulate coverage is remarkable. New England's weapons also are quite frightening.
-- Matt Williamson, Scouts Inc.
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This was Moss' 47th 100-yard receiving game in nine seasons plus two games. ... Merriman recorded his eighth multiple-sack game in 24 regular-season NFL contests.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Team Stat Comparison
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||3.8||6.3|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|TD||12:14||Benjamin Watson 7 Yd Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick)||0||7|
|TD||03:55||Randy Moss 23 Yd Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick)||0||14|
|FG||10:01||Stephen Gostkowski 24 Yd||0||17|
|TD||05:17||Adalius Thomas 65 Yd Interception Return (Stephen Gostkowski Kick)||0||24|
|TD||06:43||Lorenzo Neal 1 Yd Pass From Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding Kick)||7||24|
|TD||02:56||Randy Moss 24 Yd Pass From Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski Kick)||7||31|
|TD||14:48||Antonio Gates 12 Yd Pass From Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding Kick)||14||31|
|TD||03:18||Sammy Morris 3 Yd Run (Stephen Gostkowski Kick)||14||38|