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article imagePatriots Defeat Chargers 21-12 to Secure AFC Championship

By Dave Giza     Jan 21, 2008 in Sports
In a hard-fought battle that offered much drama, the New England Patriots continued their perfect season by beating the San Diego Chargers 21-12 for the AFC Championship. Tom Brady threw for two TD passes and Lawrence Moroney rushed for 122 yards.
The New England Patriots defeated the San Diego Chargers 21-12 to win the AFC Championship game at frigid Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Tom Brady threw for two touchdown passes but kept the Chargers in the game by also tossing three interceptions.
The Patriots' defense won the game for them. They held the banged-up Chargers to four field goals. They failed to score a touchdown while in the red zone.
The scoring began with Nate Kaeding kicking a 26 yard field goal for San Diego at 2:55 of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Lawrence Maroney scored on a 1 yard run. Gostkowski converted the extra point and New England led 7-3 at 13:48. San Diego came back with another field goal from Kaeding; this time from 23 yards at 9:14. Brady threw a 12 yard TD pass to Jabar Gaffney at 3:51. Gostkowski again made the extra point as New England led the game 14-6. Kaeding capped the second quarter scoring with a 40 yard field goal with 0:08 before halftime.
The third quarter only included a 24 yard field goal by San Diego placekicker Nate Kaeding at 8:36.
The final scoring took place when Tom Brady converted on a 6 yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker as Gostkowski made the PAT. This occurred at 12:15 of the fourth quarter as New England prevailed 21-12.
Kevin Faulk had a huge game for the Pats as he caught eight passes for 82 yards.
The Chargers were without the services of star back LaDainian Tomlinson who injured himself against the Colts last week. He had to leave in the first quarter after carrying for five yards after only two carries. He had a sprained knee. Quarterback Phillip Rivers wasn't at his best as he had a sprained knee as well. He threw two interceptions in the loss.
Chargers coach Norv Turner credited the Patriots overall team after the game: ''They're obviously the best offensive football team in this league, and you don't do it by being one-dimensional. I know their passing game gets a lot of attention, but they run the ball extremely well.''
Lawrence Moroney rushed for 122 of the team's total 149 yards on the ground as he zigged and zagged past the Chargers' defenders. New England wouldn't have won the game without him. The New England defense stepped up big-time as they limited the Chargers to only 12 yards on nine plays inside the 20 yard line.
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