SAN DIEGO - Tom Brady jogged off the field, pumping his right fist toward the throng of New England fans in a corner of Qualcomm Stadium.
A week in San Diego turned out quite well for the California native and the rest of the Patriots.
Brady threw a 69-yard touchdown pass to Julian Edelman midway through the fourth quarter, and New England beat the San Diego Chargers, 23-14, for its eighth win in nine games.
The Patriots (10-3) clinched their 12th straight 10-win season for the second-longest such streak in NFL history. They spent the week in San Diego following a loss at Green Bay in order to cut down on late-season travel.
New England went ahead by 16-14 on Stephen Gostkowski's 38-yard field goal with 10 minutes, 34 seconds left.
After forcing the Chargers to punt, the Patriots started on their 31. Brady faked a handoff and hit Edelman on a slant at about the 45. He broke two tackles and was gone.
Rob Gronkowski became the first tight end in NFL history with four seasons of 10 or more scoring receptions.
The Chargers scored twice in 2:33 in the second quarter.
Safety Darrell Stuckey returned a fumble 53 yards for a touchdown, and Malcom Floyd made a diving catch of a 15-yard touchdown pass from Philip Rivers.
Safety Jahleel Addae forced Brandon LaFell to fumble after a reception, and Stuckey picked it up and ran it in.
Manti Te'o leaped to make his first career interception just before halftime, preserving the Chargers' 14-13 lead.
Patriots 23, Chargers 14
New England 3 10 0 10 – 23
San Diego 0 14 0 0 – 14
NE–FG Gostkowski 22, 3:15.
SD–Floyd 15 pass from Rivers (Novak kick), 13:29.
SD–Stuckey 53 fumble return (Novak kick), 11:06.
NE–FG Gostkowski 22, 7:38.
NE–Gronkowski 14 pass from Brady (Gostkowski kick), 3:28.
NE–FG Gostkowski 38, 10:34.
NE–Edelman 69 pass from Brady (Gostkowski kick), 8:41.
First downs 24 13
Total Net Yards 397 216
Rushes-yards 28-87 17-53
Passing 310 163
Punt Returns 4-20 2-7
Kickoff Returns 3-61 2-33
Interceptions Ret. 1-0 1-0
Comp-Att-Int 28-44-1 20-33-1
Sacked-Yards Lost 1-7 4-26
Punts 5-49.4 8-35.8
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 6-70 8-61
Time of Possession 34:33 25:27
Rushing: New England, Blount 20-66, Gray 2-9, Brady 4-7, Edelman 1-4, Vereen 1-1. San Diego, Ry.Mathews 11-44, Rivers 3-8, Oliver 3-1.
Passing: New England, Brady 28-44-1-317. San Diego, Rivers 20-33-1-189.
Receiving: New England, Edelman 8-141, Gronkowski 8-87, LaFell 4-41, Vereen 3-30, Amendola 3-7, Blount 2-11. San Diego, D.Brown 5-49, Gates 5-34, Floyd 3-54, Royal 2-30, Green 2-15, Allen 2-3, Ry.Mathews 1-4.
Missed Field Goals: None.