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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Brent Schwartz

Patriots Week 13 film review: Complex variety-based scheme flummoxes Chargers

Could the New England Patriots (6-6) be inching their way back to the playoffs?

It’s too early to tell, but their 45-0 win over the Los Angeles Chargers (3-9) eerily felt like a late-season, Tom Brady-era victory. The win had everything — a punt return touchdown, a blocked field goal returned for a score, a defensive shutout and solid play from just about every unit.

With Austin Ekeler back in the lineup for a Chargers team that already has a few offensive stars (or close to it in the likes of Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry and Mike Williams, and has a rookie phenom at QB (Justin Herbert), it seemed like New England may be in for a tough outing.

Nope. Just an old-fashioned Bill Belichick bludgeoning over an opposing coaching staff. Complex coverages, a variety of coverages, different formations and personnel, pass-rushing stunts and more were all packed into Belichick’s game plan to confuse Herbert and the Chargers offense.

We break it all down here in our weekly defensive film review.

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