Week 13 Recap: Pats Back to .500 Record After BLOWOUT Win in Los Angeles

The New England Patriots needed to show the world that they aren’t dead in the playoff race yet. Well now, I think it’s safe to say the Patriots showed up for this game. I wrote this when it was 35-0 in the third quarter. With the win, the Patriots improve to 6-6 with big Thursday night tilt with the Rams coming up. But before we worry about that game, let’s reflect what went well in this one.

The Special Teams

Shoutout to the special teams unit in this one! The Chargers biggest weakness was their special teams unit. Well let’s just say the Patriots took advantage of that all right. Gunner Olszewski? Remember when he got his touchdown last week taken back with a penalty? Justice was served this week.

A 70 yard punt return touchdown by Olszewski put the Patriots up 14-0 early in the second quarter. But it wasn’t only Gunner that contributed for the special teams. With only seconds left in the first half, Cody Davis blocked a Chargers field goal attempt and Devin McCourty did the rest.

Devin McCourty took it back to the house to put the Patriots up 28-0 going into the half. This essentially clinched the game for the Patriots before even starting the second half.

But It Wasn’t Just The Special Teams

The offense and defense did their part in this game too. Cam Newton showed up and scored in all aspects. A passing touchdown and two rushing touchdowns helped carve the way for the Patriots.

The defense sniffed out the ball well in this one. Chase Winovich and J.C. Jackson both had interceptions to disrupt Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert.

Overall, this was a complete game for the Patriots when they needed it most.

Whose Next?

The Patriots now have a very quick turnaround as they have a Thursday night football matchup with the Rams. Can’t lie here, the Rams are a real threat in the NFC this year. Keep in mind, this was the team the Patriots beat in the Super Bowl only two seasons ago. The Rams have a lot of good pieces in place, including Jared Goff at quarterback and Aaron Donald whose arguably the best defensive player in the NFL. So this might not be as easy as this Chargers game.

In Conclusion

Great win to get yourself realistically back in the playoff hunt. But Thursday night is arguably your whole season. Win on Thursday night and you’re 7-6 with Miami, Buffalo, and the Jets looming. Lose and you need to win those last three games and get a LOT of help to even sniff a Wild Card playoff appearance. At least at 7-6, your chances with your schedule are much more favorable. You have the tiebreakers against the Raiders and Miami (for now) who are both ahead of you. But it’s no good if you don’t take care of business on Thursday night. So normally, today would be a victory Monday. But in this circumstance, it’s time to get to work on a short week.

Al Nahigian (@BigAl2793)


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