Did you no­tice?

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS -

The Pa­tri­ots at­tained first downs on all four third­down op­por­tu­ni­ties on their open­ing scor­ing drive. Brady kept throw­ing un­der­neath cov­er­age and com­pleted seven of eight passes on the 12-play drive. He was five for five for 45 yards when tar­get­ing run­ning back James White.

The Pa­tri­ots were play­ing zone on Keenan Allen’s 43-yard touch­down re­cep­tion, cor­ner Stephon Gil­more bit­ing on an in­side move and safety Devin McCourty not even in the neigh­bor­hood for the flag pat­tern.

Sony Michel ran nine times for 43 yards (4.8 yards per carry) and two touch­downs on the Pa­tri­ots’ first two drives.

Des­mond King and Casey Hay­ward got mixed up on cov­er­age when Ju­lian Edel­man and Phillip Dorsett ran an X pat­tern on the lat­ter’s 15-yard touch­down re­cep­tion. King was left trail­ing the wide-open re­ceiver.

On third downs, the Pa­tri­ots de­fense kept em­ploy­ing only one line­man, Trey Flow­ers in the mid­dle, with his hand on the ground.

The Charg­ers stuck with their zone de­fense in the first half, leav­ing un­der­neath pat­terns and run­ning lanes open for Brady to pick and choose. Be­hind 28-7, the Charg­ers fi­nally played man to man and forced the Pa­tri­ots’ first punt, which the Charg­ers fum­bled with 3 min­utes 23 sec­onds left in the half.

Pa­tri­ots had a 100-yard rusher (Michel, 105) and 100-yard re­ceiver (Edel­man, 107) in the first half.

Brady hit the turf for the first time mid­way through the third quar­ter when end Melvin In­gram hit the quar­ter­back, forc­ing a rare er­rant throw.

The Charg­ers rushed only four times in the sec­ond half, and six in the first.

Even though the ex­treme con­tact ap­peared to be rough­ing the Charg­ers punter, Don­nie Jones, in the fourth quar­ter, the op­po­si­tion must hit the player’s plant leg in or­der to be pe­nal­ized for more than run­ning into the kicker.

In­gram lined up as a full­back on the play end­ing with a touch­down pass to Vir­gil Green.

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