Patriots Stay Perfect

21-12 win over Chargers moves them to 18-0 and into the Super Bowl
By Mike Buss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2008 5:39 PM CST
New England Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel (22) celebrates the 21-12 win win over the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Championship football game in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, Jan. 20, 2008. The Patriots...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The '72 Dolphins must be nervous after New England stayed perfect today by defeating an injured Chargers crew, 21-12, and advancing to a fourth Super Bowl in seven years. The Patriots had to work for it, suffering a lackluster effort from Tom Brady, and riding rusher Lawrence Maroney for 122 yards and a touchdown.

The Chargers had chances deep in New England territory but couldn't punch in for TDs, settling for four Nate Kaeding field goals. San Diego played mostly without star back LaDainian Tomlinson, who gained only 4 yards rushing. Brady, at times quite mortal, threw TD passes to Jabar Gaffney and Wes Welker in the win.