Cam Newton has run for more yards than he has thrown for, and run for more touchdowns than he has thrown for. His 46 rushing yards and two touchdown runs have helped the Patriots to a 28-0 halftime lead on the Chargers.
It was a team effort for New England in the first 30 minutes.
The Patriots, who are seeking to climb back to .500 with a sixth win, held the Chargers to 102 yards in the first half as Justin Herbert completed 9 of 20 passes for 85 yards. The Patriots scored two special teams touchdowns.
Gunner Olszewski returned a punt 70 yards for the team’s first punt return touchdown since 2014 against the Broncos. On the final play of the half, Cody Davis blocked Michael Badgley‘s 58-yard field goal attempt and Devin McCourty returned it 44 yards for a touchdown.
McCourty’s touchdown was the second touchdown for the Patriots in the final 51 seconds of the first half.
The Patriots scored on their final offensive possession of the half, going 54 yards on 16 plays with Newton scoring from the 2-yard line with 51 seconds remaining. The drive benefitted from a 15-yard penalty and automatic first down on Jerry Tillery for illegal use of the hands on a third-and-19 play.
The Patriots gained 165 yards in the first half with Newton going 7-of-10 for 42 yards passing.
On the Patriots’ first possession, the quarterback scored on a 1-yard touchdown run on third down, three plays after picking up a fourth-and-two on a 2-yard run. It capped an impressive 13-play, 75-yard drive that used up 7:10 off the clock.
The two touchdown runs give Newton 11 for the season. It is his third season with double-digit rushing touchdowns. No other quarterback has accomplished that more than once.
In injury news, Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones (neck) is questionable to return.