Pa­tri­ots roll past Charg­ers 41-28

The Record (Troy, NY) - - SPORTS - By KYLEHIGHTOWER AP Sports Writer

FOXBOR­OUGH, MASS. >> 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. 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.

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 Sp-

roles’ 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. “One game doesn’t de­fine where we are as a foot­ball

team.”

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 was the long­est touch­down of Allen’s ca­reer, in­clud­ing the post­sea­son.

It turned out to be just a blip. The Charg­ers punted the four other times they had the ball in the first half.

Charles KrupaNew Eng­land Pa­tri­ots run­ning back Rex Burk­head runs to­ward

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