Kris Brown’s 50-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds bounded off the uprights and fell harmlessly into to the end zone and the New England Patriots held off the San Diego Chargers 23-20 at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday.
The Patriots nearly blew a 17-point second-half lead as San Diego's Philip Rivers threw for 336 yards and a touchdown on 34-of-50 passing.
The Patriots (5-1) had just 38 yards of offense in the first half yet took a 13-3 advantage into the break. Pats quarterback Tom Brady hit Rob Gronkowski with a 1-yard touchdown pass and Stephen Gostkowski booted a pair of field goals in the first half.
San Diego (2-5) led briefly 3-0 on Brown’s 32-yard field goal but that was all it could manage in the first half, turning the ball over four times.
The Patriots extended the lead to 20-3 in the third quarter when BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored on his third try from the 1-yard line.
After the teams traded field goals, Chargers tight end Antonio Gates caught a 4-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 23-13. San Diego then recovered an onside kick to immediately get the ball back and scored on a 1-yard plunge by Michael Tolbert to trim the deficit to 23-20 with four minutes left in the game.
New England turned the ball over on downs on its next possession as the Patriots’ Green-Ellis was stopped on a fourth-and-1 at midfield.
The Chargers took over and drove to the New England 28 before attempting the game-tying field goal from 50 yards following a delay-of-game penalty.
Brady threw for 159 yards on 19-of-32 passing.