Michel scores 3 touchdowns as Patriots roll past Chargers
Sony Michel ran for 129 yards and had three touchdowns and the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Chargers 41-28 in the divisional playoffs on Sunday to earn their eighth straight trip to the AFC championship game.
New England (12-5) will play at Kansas City in next week’s AFC title game. The Patriots beat the Chiefs 43-40 in Foxborough in Week 6.
It is the 13th conference championship game appearance by the Patriots during the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era. The Chargers (13-5) haven’t reached the AFC title game since the 2007 season.
“It’s going to be a good game,” Brady said of the rematch with the Chiefs. “They’re a good team. We played them earlier this year. I know everybody thinks we suck and, you know, we can’t win any games, so we'll see. It'll be fun.”
Quarterback Philip Rivers finished 25 of 51 for 331 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He is 0-5 in games played in Foxborough, including 0-3 in the postseason.
Brady finished 34 of 44 for 343 yards and a touchdown. He improves to 8-0 as a starter against Rivers, who drops to 1-8 against New England all-time.
James White tied Darren Sproles’ NFL postseason record with 15 catches, totaling 97 yards.
New England scored on its first four possessions of the game to build a 35-7 halftime lead.
Julian Edelman had nine catches for 151 yards.
The Chargers added three touchdowns in the second half , but it was much too late.
Los Angeles lost for just the second time on the road (8-2) and first time outside Los Angeles this season. In its past four trips to the playoffs, Los Angeles has lost in the divisional round.
“We dug ourselves a hole in the first half,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said.
Rivers seemed poised to keep Los Angeles in the game, connecting with Keenan Allen for a 43yard score on Los Angeles’ first offensive possession.
It turned out to be just a blip.
New England Patriots running back Sony Michel ran for 129 yards and three touchdowns against the Los Angeles Chargers in a 41-28 win on Sunday in Foxborough, Mass.