Tag Archives: Luis Castillo

AFC Championship 2008: Patriots easy-bake the Chargers

The New England Patriots and the San Diego Chargers congregated today at Gillette Stadium for a friendly game (broadcast on CBS) of Let’s See Who Gets to Go to the Super Bowl.

The game-play in the first quarter was mostly uneventful until the bottom of the quarter when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s pass meant for wide receiver Dante Stallworth was picked off by Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer.   That turnover would’ve resulted in a touchdown for San Diego, but wide receiver Chris Chambers caught Philip Rivers’s pass outside of out bounds in the rear of the end zone.  The Chargers ended with a field goal instead, leading 3 to 0.

The top of the second quarter brought the Patriots into the lead with a touchdown by running back Laurence Maroney.   The Chargers increased their points to six with another field goal.  New England 7 and San Diego 6.  Nearing the bottom of the second quarter, Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel  intercepted Rivers pass intended for Chambers.  Patriots wide receiver Jabar Gaffney made a TD quickly after the turnover.  New England 14 and San Diego 6. Rivers was intercepted again, this time by cornerback Ellis Hobbs, who then dropped the ball but safety James Sanders recovered it for the Patriots.  The Chargers narrowed the score gap with a field goal in the very bottom of the second quarter.  Going into halftime, New England 14 and San Diego 9.

The third quarter opened with Tom Brady getting sacked by Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo and outside linebacker Shawne Merriman.  On the next play, Brady’s throw was intercepted by San Diego cornerback Drayton Florence.   The Chargers collected another field goal.  As the bottom of the third quarter drew closer, Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie intercepted Brady’s pass-to-the-end-zone.

The fourth quarter started with a touchdown by Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker.  New England 21 and San Diego 12.  Final score.  The Patriots are going to the Super Bowl.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. The pre-game music montage was comprised of orchestral accompaniment to some song called “Unstoppable.”  I didn’t catch by whom.

2. Jeff Triplette was the referee today.
3.  Laurence Maroney’s TD in the top of the second quarter was quite characteristic of the Patriots scoring pattern from the 2007 season.  If they don’t put on the ritz in the first quarter, they’ll do it in the second (and usually quite early).

4. Although San Diego’s points all came from field goals, their defense was able to keep New England down to fourteen points through the end of the third quarter.  The 2007 norm was that by the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Patriots would have scored at least four touchdowns.

5. Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson was in the game for only three plays.

Get game summary, stats, and play by play here.

AFC Wildcard Game 2008: Chargers mortalize the Titans

“Mortalize” isn’t a real word.  N’importe.

Qualcomm Stadium in California. The Tennessee Titans trekked southwestward across the country to challenge the San Diego Chargers for a shot at the AFC divisional championship game, and then hopefully the Super Bowl.

The first quarter started with grey skies, precipitation, and a Titans field goal.   The second quarter ended with another Titans field goal.  Going into halftime, Tennessee 6 and San Diego 0.   The third quarter gave the Chargers a modicum amount of hope with a field goal.  Well Hallelujah.  San Diego wide receiver Vincent Jackson made a touchdown in the bottom of the third quarter.  Chargers 10 and Titans 6.  The fourth quarter picked up again in the precipitation.  Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson nearly made a touchdown just before the halfway point in the fourth quarter.    The ball was called dead at the one yard-line; San Diego challenged but the ruling stood (no more time-outs for them).  Tomlinson made another effort, leaped up and over the Titans defensive players and broke the plane with his outstretched hands.  Chargers up to 17.   Tennessee challenged but the ruling stood (they still had one more at that point).  After 3.65 quarters of underwhelming game-play (excepting interceptions), the game ended 17 to 6 in favor of San Diego.  The Chargers are going to the AFC divisional game.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Because this game was on CBS, the blue line of scrimmage graphic was on the field.  After watching a number of football games on Fox, NBC, and CBS within the the last week, I think I’d be content either way if the blue line of scrimmage was nixed next season.

2. “Jackson has San Diego down to the twenty-six yard line–its deepest penetration,” one of the commentators remarked.  Again, easily misinterpreted.

3. Before Vincent Jackson made the TD in the bottom of the third quarter, Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was flagged for unnecessary roughness. He crept beyond the line of scrimmage and pushed Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers to the ground.  I caught it in a slow-motion instant replay from behind the Titans line; it reminded me of something one would see in sixth-grade gym class.

4. Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo did this reverse kick-ball-change step after he  sacked Titans quarterback Vince Young.

Get game summary, stats, and play by play here.