FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -Perfection comes down to one game now.
Despite a shaky Tom Brady, the New England Patriots were still too much for the banged-up San Diego Chargers in the AFC championship game Sunday, pulling out a 21-12 victory that sent them back to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in seven seasons.
Brady made several stunningly poor throws that fluttered in the wind, Randy Moss was a non-factor for the second straight game and the highest-scoring team in NFL history sputtered all afternoon. Instead, the Patriots (18-0) relied on Laurence Maroney's spins, cuts and helmet-rattling runs.
With injured Chargers star LaDainian Tomlinson reduced to mostly watching in a parka, the Patriots moved on to a Feb. 3 matchup in Glendale, Ariz., against the winner of the NFC title game between the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants.
Yet for all the Patriots have accomplished - they're the only team in NFL history to start out with 18 straight victories - they're well aware they must win that final game to avoid being relegated to a footnote.
Advertisement
Advertisement

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Titans vs. Texans Pick Will the Titans and Texans surprise and play over the total for bettors when the AFC South rivals clash at 1:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Panthers vs. Falcons Pick Will Sunday's NFC South matchup between the Panthers and Falcons fall under the total at 1:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Raiders vs. Ravens Pick The Baltimore Ravens looks to stay unbeaten when they play host to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at 1PM ET.
Thumbnail Colts vs. Jaguars Pick The NFL holds its first game in London of the 2016 season when the Jacksonville Jaguarshost the Indianapolis Colts...
Thumbnail Dolphins vs. Bengals Pick Will the Thursday Night Football matchup this week in the NFL be a defensive struggle between the Dolphins and Bengals at 8:25PM ET?
More inNFL Articles  

NFL Team Pages