Patriots blast Chargers, advance to eighth consecutive AFC Championship Game

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – OK, let's promise each other that we'll never question Bill Belichick and Tom Brady ever again as long as their union lasts. Deal?

The New England Patriots kicked off their postseason play with an absolute thrashing of the Los Angeles Chargers.

Sunday's 41-28 victory, which only seemed close after a last-minute touchdown to Antonio Gates, earned New England its eighth consecutive AFC Championship Game appearance, extending the franchise's own record.

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