New England head coach, Bill Belichick was straight to the point with NBC sideline reporter, Michelle Tafoya before the start of the third quarter, "two turnovers." There was no mention of the 15 yard penalty on Brandon Browner. Or the 10 yard tripping penalty on Kyle Arrington on 2nd and 29 from the San Diego 9 yard line, or the fact that the Patriots had allowed 39 first downs this year on penalties.

Doug Kyed, NESN:
First quarter, 3:15, Patriots 3-0: The Patriots were magnificent until they had goal to go at their 2 yard line. Then they decided to call two passing plays when running backs LeGarrette Blount and Jonas Gray were having zero trouble running the ball down the Chargers’ throats.

That’s on offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

A 17 play 73 yard drive moved the ball to the San Diego one yard line. LaGarrette Blount had carried seven times for 39 yards, and caught a 10 yard pass from QB Tom Brady during the drive. With the ball at the San Diego one yard line, a near interception on an incomplete pass and a sack led to a field goal. To say the play calling was bizarre would be charitable.

Following the first offensive series of the second half, the Patriots punted for the first time in the game. On the first play of the third series, OG Dan Connolly is charged with a false start. Three straight drives were three and out. On the third punt, Patriots' WR Brian Tyms is flagged for a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty giving the Chargers decent field position at their own 33. To give Brian his due, he did make a nice tackle covering a punt later in the quarter on Keenan Allen for no gain.

New England S Devin McCourty had a 56 yard TD interception return negated due to an unnecessary roughness penalty on CB Brandon Browner. The high hit on TE Ladarius Green by Browner was not reviewable, but was not costly following an interception by LB Akeem Ayers.

A 46 yard fourth quarter punt by San Diego K Mike Novak resulted in a 10 yard holding penalty by the Patriots after Julian Edelman's four yard return. The next play is the 69 yard TD catch and run by WR Julian Edelman from Tom Brady.

This Patriots are eerily reminiscent of the 2004 Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox porous infield defense put pressure on the pitching staff and forced the offense to outslug its opponents. The Patriots face a similar situation where the excessive penalties and unnecessary mistakes places undue pressure on the the offensive, defensive and special team units. New England is fourth in the NFL in penalties.

The schedule gods gave you a week in the sun. They even lowered the temperature to 67 for kickoff. As Jeff Long, committee chairman for the College Football Playoffs, responded as to why the committee chose Ohio State as the fourth team, "it was the eye test."

Sunday night wasn't pretty for the Patriots in their 23-14 win over the San Diego Chargers. The 2004 Red Sox weren't, either.

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.

Follow me on Twitter at @_prmurphy

For more of my articles, click here.

Paul Murphy 12/08/2014 01:25:00 AM Edit

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