Newton, Special Teams Lead Patriots to 45-0 Rout of Chargers
Cam Newton ran for two touchdowns and the New England Patriots scored two TDs on special teams in a 45-0 rout of the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
Newton has four games this season with multiple rushing touchdowns, breaking the league record for a quarterback. He had three such games in 2011, an achievement he shared with five others, and has 10 in his career, three more than any other QB.
Newton's 1-yard dive on the game's opening drive and a 2-yard keeper up the middle in the second quarter gave him 11 rushing scores on the year. His most in a season is 14 as a rookie with the Carolina Panthers in 2011.
The Patriots (6-6) have won two straight and four of five to get back into playoff contention in the AFC.
Los Angeles (3-9) suffered the worst loss in franchise history, eclipsing a 49-6 defeat to Kansas City in 1964. It was the first time since 2014 the Chargers were shut out. LA will finish with a losing record for the second consecutive season.
Gunner Olszewski took Ty Long's punt 70 yards up the right sideline early in the second quarter, putting New England ahead 14-0. The Patriots' second special teams score came on the last play of the first half, when Devin McCourty returned a blocked field-goal attempt 44 yards to the end zone. New England led 28-0 at halftime.
The Chargers reassigned special teams coach George Stewart on Nov. 25, but LA's struggles in that phase continued.
Newton completed 12 of 19 passes for 69 yards, including a 5-yard pass to N'Keal Henry during the third quarter that extended New England's lead to 35-0.
Jarrett Stidham replaced Newton early in the fourth quarter threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Olszewski.
Rookie Justin Herbert was 26 of 53 for 209 yards for the Chargers. He was intercepted twice.
Patriots: CB Jonathan Jones and TE Larry Izzo suffered neck injuries and did not return.
Chargers: RB Joshua Kelly suffered an ankle injury and did not return. LT Sam Tevi missed the game because his wife gave birth to the couple's child.
Patriots: Remain in Los Angeles to face the Rams on Thursday night.
Chargers: Host the Atlanta Falcons next Sunday.