The Patriots’ offense failed to finish drives against the Chargers on Sunday, but the defense came up with some stops in key spots, and New England emerged victorious for the sixth time in seven games.
It wasn’t a pretty win by any means, but the Patriots will now take a 6-2 record into their bye week. New England did struggle in the red zone, and that’s something the team will likely look to work on during their week off. The Patriots racked up 414 total yards and 27 first downs on Sunday, but managed to score only 21 points.
Red-zone efficiency was what held the Patriots back from what could’ve been a much more comfortable win, as the offense scored only one touchdown on four trips when inside the Chargers’ 20-yard line.
Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy came to the defense of the offense in speaking to the media after the game, though.
“They ain’t struggling when they’re scoring,” Van Noy said, via NESN’s Doug Kyed. “It’s our job to stop them. They just gotta keep doing what they’re doing. I mean, they’re winning games. You can’t really say they’re struggling.”
Van Noy raised a good point, as the offense did do a good job of managing the clock and keeping its defense rested. The Patriots possessed the football for nearly 37 minutes on offense, and that seemed to take a toll on the Chargers late in the game.
“To be honest, I think that question kind of sucks,” Van Noy said. “I’m just keeping it real with you because it’s a three-phase game, and everybody has to do their part. If they’re putting points on the board and we’re getting stops, and we’re winning games, I think it’s a total team effort. Yeah, it might not be perfect, we might not score every time we’re in the red zone, but we’re getting points, and we’re getting stops, and special teams is playing lights out, so that’s why we’re winning games.”