I can understand if LaDainian Tomlinson was too hurt to play in the AFC Championship Game, and even applaud him for giving it a go before deciding his knee couldn't hold up. But you are a team leader, L.T., last year's MVP -- don't sit on the bench, hiding behind your Darth Vader visor. Become a cheerleader, talk to your backups that are carrying your load.
The Chargers can blame injuries for their defeat, but instead it should go to the offensive line. When San Diego got within striking distance of the end zone, they couldn't run and Philip Rivers didn't have enough time to find open receivers. Blame the offense that couldn't get any more out of three Tom Brady interceptions than a couple of field goals. The defense did its job, but the offense couldn't close the deal.
As for the Patriots, winning a game where Brady plays that badly is a good sign. The defense kept the Chargers out of the end zone, Laurence Maroney carried the offense in the second half, and Kevin Faulk got the first downs when they needed them.
As for Nick Hardwick calling Richard Seymour dirty, maybe he should remember, as CBSSports.com National Columnist Mike Freeman did, that it was Hardwick who called his own Chargers dirty -- and meant it as a compliment. More of the same from the Chargers, who can't seem to give anyone credit after they lose.
Now it's on to New York vs. Boston, football edition. Not exactly Yankees-Red Sox, considering the Giants and Patriots only play once every four years. But it is another chance to oversaturate the rest of the country with coverage of teams from the Northeast.