Pa­tri­ots

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - SPORTS -

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 43-yard 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.

The Pa­tri­ots were ef­fi­cient through­out the open­ing 30 min­utes, go­ing 5 for 5 in the red zone, 5 of 6 on third down and com­mit­ting only one penalty.

New Eng­land didn’t go three-and-out for the first time un­til its fifth of­fen­sive touch of the day when it punted with 3:32 left in the sec­ond quar­ter.

But Ryan Allen’s 48-yard punt was fum­bled by Des­mond King, send­ing the ball rolling to­ward the side­line. The ref­er­ees ruled the ball went out of bounds be­fore New Eng­land’s Al­bert McClellan ap­peared to re­cover it. But the play was re­versed after a chal­lenge by Bill Belichick.

ELISE AMEN­DOLA — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots quar­ter­back Tom Brady, right, cel­e­brates a touch­down run by run­ning back Sony Michel (26) dur­ing the first half of an NFL di­vi­sional play­off foot­ball game against the Los An­ge­les Charg­ers, Sun­day in Foxbor­ough, Mass.

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