Brady, Patriots blow out Chargers to reach another AFC title game

Death. Texas. The New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game.

Tom Brady dissected the Los Angeles Chargers for 343 yards and a touchdown while rookie Sony Michel rushed for 129 yards and three touchdowns in his first playoff game as New England cruised to a 41-28 victory at Gilette Stadium Sunday to set up a showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs next weekend.

With the win, the Patriots extended their own NFL record by reaching their eighth consecutive conference championship game. They’re 4-3 in the previous seven matchups over this remarkable run but lost both games that were played on the road — to Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium.

In closing out a perfect 9-0 season at home, the Patriots offense was at its high-powered best in the first half. New England scored on its first four possessions en route to a 35-7 halftime lead, rendering the second 30 minutes extended garbage time.

By contrast, the Chargers offense went as cold as the kickoff temperatures after Philip Rivers found Keenan Allen for a 43-yard touchdown on the visitors’ opening possession. Los Angeles did not cross midfield until late in the third quarter, when Rivers engineered the first of three second-half touchdown drives that helped to make the score more respectable.

This is a developing story; check back for more updates.

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