Patriots roll Chargers to reach 8th straight title game
FOXBOROUGH, MASS. >> Tom Brady recognizes that there are some who believe the Patriots are nearing the end of their run of unprecedented playoff success.
New England took its first step toward possibly silencing those voices for a little longer.
Sony Michel ran for 129 yards and had three touchdowns and the Patriots beat the Los Angeles Chargers, 41-28, in the divisional playoffs on Jan. 13 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. The Patriots finished 9-0 at home this season.
It is the 13th conference championship game appearance by the Patriots during the Tom BradyBill Belichick era.
“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.”
The Chargers (13-5) haven’t reached the AFC title game since the 2007 season.
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.
For Rivers, seeing Brady again pick apart the Chargers defense was another reminder that he was competing against one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.