SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -The first stop on the New England Patriots' tour of California was a smashing success, and now they're hoping a week in the Bay Area will put them in position to be a big hit in San Diego and beyond.
The Patriots watched film and rested their aches at a Silicon Valley hotel Monday following their 30-21 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. The defending AFC champions elected to stay on the West Coast before Sunday's visit to the Chargers precisely because they could best keep to the rhythms of their weekly routine during a tough stretch of the schedule.
our work done here.''
The Patriots have set up camp at San Jose State, which has a spiffy workout complex partially funded by a donation from Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Garcia. After taking the day off Tuesday, they'll be hard at work in San Jose through Saturday, hopefully free of many day-to-day distractions that pop up in a normal week for such a high-profile team with heavy local media coverage and a frenzied fan base.
``I think we'll just try to use our time more efficiently,'' Belichick said. ``Instead of flying back and forth across the country, we'll use this to try to rest and be productive today. ... We'll also be here on Friday instead of (making another) cross-country trip. We would have had to come back. That's really our opportunity, the next 48 hours and then at the end of the week on Friday. We should have a good week of practice.''
So far, Belichick's travel scheme is working just as well as his plan to beat the 49ers. The Patriots (3-1) thoroughly outplayed San Francisco in ways that didn't show up on the scoreboard, including more than 39 minutes of ball possession with a grind-it-out running game that repeatedly moved the chains, including New England's 8-for-17 mark on third downs.
ptions and one breathtakingly perfect 66-yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss, who caught it in stride behind San Francisco's top two defensive backs.
``To hit Randy down the field is something we practiced during the week,'' Cassel said. ``I gave him the opportunity, he made a great catch, and he did what he does best.''
Indeed, the Patriots obviously planned to threaten the 49ers with big plays early, since Cassel's first-quarter interception - which was caused by a hit as he threw - came on a play similar to the long pattern that eventually resulted in Moss' touchdown. When New England showed a willingness to attempt big plays, the 49ers retreated into a cautious scheme with five defensive backs, which allowed the Patriots to run the ball for steady gains for the rest of the game.
New England's defense recovered from a shaky first quarter to play well in the final three periods. The defense only had to play about 13 minutes until the fourth quarter, but it held San Francisco without a first down in the second and third periods.
After what must have been an encouraging film session Monday, the Patriots were given Tuesday off. Several players, including former Raiders receiver Moss, rented cars for the week, and some were planning to see the local sights - but only for a day.
his week after coming up from his native Southern California for the game, the quarterback won't be distracted by a week close to home.
``It's business as usual,'' Cassel said. ``This is a professional team with a lot of veteran leaders that know how to go out and practice hard and get ready to play in football games. That's what I anticipate happening.''
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