http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20051003-9999-1s3chside2.html FOXBORO, Mass. – The easy thing would be to say that Wade Phillips is the master of halftime adjustments, that the Chargers' defensive coordinator spends the few minutes allotted at intermission each week to whip up new and different ways to confound opponents. In the first half, the Patriots rolled up 243 yards, 15 first downs and 17 points – and the latter total could have been higher but for a rare missed field goal attempt by Adam Vinatieri. In the second half, those numbers were 61, 3 and 0. One problem: According to Phillips' players – the coach himself is not permitted to speak to the media – nothing was changed at halftime. At least not strategically. "No, we didn't (change anything)," linebacker Steve Foley. "Honestly. We stayed with our same game plan." Said linebacker Shaun Phillips: "We did absolutely nothing different." Other players said there were minor adjustments, including getting more physical with New England's receivers, but the primary adjustment was even simpler: They played better. "Defensively we really stepped up," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. Actually, it was similar to last week when the Giants had 263 yards and 20 points in the first half, 161 and 3 in the second. But these were the Patriots, the two-time defending Super Bowl champions. Tom Brady, a winner of three Super Bowls, was the quarterback, not Eli Manning, a second-year player. There was another similarity, though: the final score. Last week the Chargers went from a 21-20 halftime lead to a 45-23 rout. Yesterday they went from a 17-17 halftime tie to a 41-17 blowout. "For some reason," Foley said, "I don't know if it's because we have a young team, but normally in the second half that's when we start to play our best ball. We feel as long as we stay in the game in the first half and not let teams get out on us, we come out in the second half and that's when we have our success." A week ago Manning passed for 206 yards in the first half; yesterday Brady nearly matched him with 203. But Brady was under much more pressure after intermission, in part because the first two times the Patriots had the ball, they faced third-and-17 and third-and-14 thanks to big plays by Jacques Cesaire (tackled Corey Dillon for a 7-yard loss) and Donnie Edwards (tackled Patrick Pass for a 4-yard loss). Then, by the time New England got the ball again, it was 31-17 Chargers. "When we get the lead big enough, they're going to come out and throw the ball," linebacker Ben Leber said. "That puts us in situations where we can pressure." Said Foley: "We were just being relentless. Guys were tired, cramping up, but we stayed in each other's ear." There was one other factor: More than one player said motivation came from thinking about what lay ahead last night. A six-hour flight from Providence, R.I., to San Diego. More than 2,500 miles to think about what happened in the game. "This is going to make that plane ride not as long," Foley said before leaving the locker room. "Now we can sit back a little bit and enjoy this one for the moment."