The Los Angeles Chargers' 2018 season came to an end on Sunday after a 41-28 Divisional Round loss to the New England Patriots.
Stat of the Game:
The fourth quarter touchdown Antonio Gates had pushed him to 540 career postseason receiving yards, moving past Hall of Fame WR Charlie Joiner (539) and WR Vincent Jackson (503) to set the franchise's all-time mark for career postseason receiving yards.
Play of the Game:
On the offense's first possession of the game, the unit faced a 1st-and-10 from the NE 43. Philip Rivers stepped back and launched a deep pass downfield for Keenan Allen, who was wide open for the touchdown. The TD tied the game 7-7.
The Chargers were down 21-7 in the second quarter after the Patriots' third offensive series ended in a 15-yard touchdown from Tom Brady to Phillip Dorsett. After the Chargers were forced to punt on their ensuing drive, the Pats got the ball back and drove downfield, capping their fourth offensive possession with another touchdown to take a 21-point lead over the Chargers.
It Was Over When:
After the Chargers defense forced the Patriots to go three-and-out late in the first half, Desmond King waited back to return the punt. King muffed the catch and although it was initially ruled that the ball went out of bounds and possession stayed with the Bolts, NE challenged the ruling and the call was reversed. The Patriots got the ball at the Chargers' 35 as the muff was recovered by Albert McClellan. Four plays later, the Patriots scored another touchdown, making it 35-7 instead of having a chance to make it 28-14 while getting the ball to start second half. Despite the Chargers posting three touchdowns during the remainder of the game, New England's lead was too much to overcome as they ultimately added a pair of field goals as well.
"I've learned that no one game doesn't define who we are and our football season, for sure. And those men, they fought hard all year and there were some difficult situations that we fought back and won. And today, we just couldn't get that done. But like I said, I liked the way they came out and competed in the second half. And you know, I'm not sure if you can take away anything from this one game today. You know, we got our butts kicked today. But we can learn a lot from this year and this season from one another. It's not a comfortable moment for us, for sure, but I think in these times we can learn a lot about ourselves. And we can grow and be a better person, better teammate, better coach." – Head Coach Anthony Lynn
"It was an emotional week a little bit just being back here in the postseason after being here 11 years ago, almost to the day. A week shy of 11 years. I think like every team, when you go into the game, you expect to win. Certainly thought we were going to have a better outing, but we didn't. So it is emotional just because I think you know how hard it is to get to January the 13thand be in a playoff game. ... A lot of good this year. I think as the dust settles, you can appreciate more of that, but certainly disappointing finish. You get up and start again." – QB Philip Rivers
"It's something that you just have to carry on. It's like losing a game mid-season. You can't look at that game, you've got to move on to the next one. I have a lot to learn from this season. This was not my best ball played this season, but I did what I could with what I had this year. I have a lot to look back on with this team, a lot of positives to look back on." – DE Joey Bosa
Odds and Ends
The Patriots outgained the Chargers 498 to 335 in total yardage. They held advantages both on the ground (155-19) and through the air (343-316).
Tyrell Williams, Antonio Gates and Mike Williams all had five receptions on the day. Tyrell Williams led the receiving corps with 94 yards.
In the fourth quarter, Rivers' one-yard touchdown pass to Virgil Green was good for the 13th touchdown of his postseason career to pass Hall of Fame QB Dan Fouts for the most in Chargers postseason annals. It marked Rivers' fourth multi-touchdown postseason game, tying Fouts for the most in team postseason history.
Rivers' 331 passing yards set a postseason single-game career-high. It marked his second 300-yard postseason performance.
Melvin Gordon's touchdown in the third quarter was the second of his postseason career, tying Paul Lowe, Natrone Means and Darren Sproles for the third-most in team postseason annals.
Jahleel Addae paced the defense with 12 total tackles on the day. Derwin James was shortly behind him with 10 total. James also had two tackles for loss.
Melvin Gordon served as today's honorary captain.
Inactives for the Chargers included Sean Culkin, Detrez Newsome, Cole Toner, Forrest Lamp, Dylan Cantrell, Anthony Lanier and T.Y. McGill.
Browse through the top game action photos as the Bolts take on the New England Patriots during the divisional round of playoffs.