Watch: Patriots humble Chargers to move within win of Super Bowl
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Watch: Patriots humble Chargers to move within win of Super Bowl

Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts at the line of scrimmage.

Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts at the line of scrimmage.

Sony Michel ran for three touchdowns and the New England Patriots reached the NFL playoff semi-finals for an eighth consecutive season Sunday by ripping the Los Angeles Chargers 41-28.

Five-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady completed 34 of 44 passes for 343 yards and a touchdown while Michel ran 24 times for 129 yards as the Patriots, who led 35-7 at half-time, reached the American Conference final for a record eighth consecutive season in quest of a ninth Super Bowl appearance in 18 campaigns.

"The line played great and I think we just did a good job of keeping them off balance. It was a good win," Brady said.

New England, seeking a third NFL crown in five seasons, will play next Sunday at Kansas City, which hasn't won a title since the 1969 season, to decide a berth in Super Bowl 53 on February 3 at Atlanta.

"It's that time of year. You've got to play your best. We're one of four left. We've got to get out there," Brady said. "They are a great team. It should be a great game.

Brady added with a grin: "Everyone thinks we suck and can't win any games so we'll see."

The Patriots beat Kansas City 43-40 in an October regular-season contest, the Chiefs becoming the only visitors all season to lead at New England.

The Chargers, previously 9-0 this season on the road, were humbled by a Patriots team that went 9-0 at home this season by winning its ninth consecutive home playoff game.

Brady, 41, and the Chargers' Philip Rivers, 37, had the oldest combined age of starting quarterbacks in NFL playoff history. But Rivers fell to 0-8 all-time against Brady and 1-5 in games played in sub-freezing cold.

New England's Julian Edelman caught nine passes for 151 yards while teammate James White made 15 receptions for 97 yards.

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