Just How Cruel Was the Patriots’ Destruction of the Chargers?

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 13: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during the fourth quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Los Angeles Chargers at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Bill Belichick enjoys the carnage.
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The New England Patriots did unspeakable things to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. One would expect Tom Brady and co. to take care of business at home, but this Divisional Round game was a vivisection. New England won, 41-28, but the Chargers’ fate was sealed early. The Patriots scored touchdowns on their first four drives. When the Chargers finally got a stop, they fumbled the punt return and New England scored yet another touchdown.

It was an afternoon of total disrespect. The Patriots probably didn’t even bother to learn that the Chargers have since moved to Los Angeles before they jettisoned them out of Foxborough and in the general direction of San Diego. Patriots running back Sony Michel ran for 129 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tom Brady threw just ten incompletions all day. New England had more first downs (30) than the Chargers had rushing yards (15). All that’s left for the Patriots are the Congressional hearings to determine exactly how many articles of the Geneva Convention were broken on Sunday.

New England’s offense bullied Los Angeles and its zone schemes up and down the field to the tune of 498 total yards. The Patriots’ defense, meanwhile, played mean and smart.

In the spirit of equal time, please enjoy this Chargers highlight from when they tied the game in the first quarter.

We were so young and innocent back then, before the deluge.

Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs await New England in the AFC Championship. It will be a rematch of the teams’ thrilling Week 6 encounter, which the Patriots won 43-40. Can New England run its efficient offense in the din of Arrowhead Stadium? Does Bill Belichick have an answer for Mahomes’ magic? Will Jon Bon Jovi learn the words to his own song by then?

All these mysteries and more will be solved come next weekend. Let’s hope it’s more interesting than Sunday’s affair.