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The 2006 AFC Divisional Playoffs came to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego in January 2007 as the New England Patriots, champions of the AFC's Eastern Division, took on the AFC West champion Chargers. Both original members of the American Football League, the two teams had met in the playoffs once before - the 1963 AFL Title game won by the Chargers 51-10. This was the fourth meeting of the 2000 decade for both teams; in 2001 the Patriots, in Tom Brady's third career start, rallied from a 26-16 gap in the final minutes and won 29-26 in overtime, while the Chargers turned two Brady INTs into a 21-14 win in 2002 and ran roughshod over the Patriots in Foxboro in 2005 in a 41-17 rout.
For this playoff matchup the two teams probed each other, feeling out the exact physical nature of each other's defenses. For much of the first quarter neither team could move the ball consistently, but the Patriots broke the scoring ice with a 50-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal. The Chargers then got ...