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Still, the Patriots improved to 5-1, tied with the Steelers and New York Jets for the best record in the NFL.

“It’s good to win, but also we know we’re one or two plays away from that being the other way, like most teams in this league are. 5-1 could easily be something else,” Belichick said. “We know how fragile that is.”

A week earlier, the Patriots came back from a 20-10 fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Ravens. Against the Chargers, they managed just 179 yards of offense, less than half of San Diego’s total of 363.

“We missed opportunities in all three phases of the game,” Belichick said. “Certainly, a lot of room for improvement, no question about it. We could’ve done just about everything better at some point or another.”