Phillips pick-six propels Patriots past Chargers 27-24
Adrian Phillips intercepted two passes, returning one for the go-ahead touchdown against his former team, Nick Folk kicked four field goals, and the New England Patriots rallied for a 27-24 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday.
It was the first multi-interception game for Phillips, who played six seasons for the Chargers (2014-19) before signing with the Patriots last year. With 10:20 remaining in the fourth quarter, he picked off a pass intended for Jared Cook, who was not on the same page as Justin Herbert, and returned it 26 yards to put the Patriots back in front. Rookie Mac Jones then connected with Jakobi Meyers on the 2-point conversion to give New England a seven-point advantage.
Folk, who has three games this season with four field goals, split the uprights from 30 yards with 2:21 remaining to put the Patriots up by double digits.
Joshua Palmer brought the Chargers within a field goal with 40 seconds remaining when he hauled in a 24-yard strike from Herbert for his first NFL touchdown. Former Chargers tight end Hunter Henry recovered the ensuing onside kick for the Patriots.
New England (4-4) started the season 1-3 but has won two straight and three of its last four. Los Angeles (4-3) has dropped two straight.
Damien Harris, looking for his third straight 100-yard rushing game, had 19 carries for 76 yards.
Jones, who had completed 70.4% of his passes in his first seven games, had one of his worst performances, completing 18 of 35 passes for 217 yards.
It was an equally bad game for Herbert, who was 18 of 35 for 223 yards with two touchdown and two interceptions.
Austin Ekeler had 124 scrimmage yards (64 rushing, 60 receiving).
The Chargers scored touchdowns on two of their first three possessions to take a 14-7 lead. Los Angeles scored on its opening drive for the third time this season as Ekeler went 5 yards up the middle.
New England responded with its fourth TD on an opening possession when Harris scored on a 1-yard carry off left guard.
Los Angeles grabbed a 14-7 advantage early in the second quarter when Herbert connected with Keenan Allen for a 5-yard TD. New England would cut the margin to one at halftime on a pair of field goals by Folk.
GOOD TIMES, BAD TIMES
Allen's touchdown was set up by a 75-yard run by Justin Jackson. On second-and-10 from the Chargers 14-yard line, the fourth-year running back made a couple nice jump cuts that caused defenders to miss near the 20 before breaking free up the left sideline. Jackson was eventually tackled by J.C. Jackson at the Patriots 13.
Not only was it was it the longest run of Jackson's career, but it was the Chargers' second-longest run in the past 10 years. Melvin Gordon had an 87-yarder at New England in 2017.
Jackson, though, suffered a quad injury and did not return.
Chargers: CB Michael Davis suffered a hamstring injury during the second quarter and did not return. CB Asante Samuel Jr. was being evaluated for a concussion.
Patriots: visit the Carolina Panthers next Sunday.
Chargers: visit the Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday.