FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Sony Michel ran for 129 yards and had three touchdowns and the New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Chargers 41-28 in the divisional playoffs on Sunday to earn their eighth straight trip to AFC championship game.
New England (12-5) will play at Kansas City in next week’s AFC title game. The Patriots beat the Chiefs 43-40 in Foxborough in Week 6.
It is the 13th conference championship game appearance by the Patriots during the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era. The Chargers (13-5) haven’t reached the AFC title game since the 2007 season.
Quarterback Philip Rivers finished 25 of 51 for 331 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He is 0-5 in games played in Foxborough, including 0-3 in the postseason.
Brady finished 34 of 44 for 343 yards and a touchdown. He improves to 8-0 as a starter against Rivers, who drops to 1-8 against New England all-time.
James White tied Darren Sproles’ NFL postseason record with 15 catches, totaling 97 yards.
New England scored on its first four possessions of the game to build a 35-7 halftime lead.