SAN DIEGO — The New England Patriots put together an “elite” defense on paper this offseason, and it looked pretty dominant on the field Sunday night.

The Patriots allowed just 216 yards to the Philip Rivers-led San Diego Chargers in a 23-14 win, holding them to just 4.4 yards per passing attempt and 3.1 yards per carry.

The defense deserves the majority of credit for this win after the offense was anemic in the third quarter, picking up only one first down. The Patriots were able to keep the game in reach, and the offense finally responded in the fourth quarter.

Check out this week’s stars of the game:

JAMIE COLLINS
With starting linebacker Dont’a Hightower sidelined with a shoulder injury and All-Pro Jerod Mayo out for the season, Collins had to shoulder a lot of responsibility.

Collins was all over the field, recording nine tackles, two sacks and three tackles for loss. He brought pressure from the A gap, taking advantage of the Chargers’ fifth-string center, Chris Watt.

JULIAN EDELMAN
Edelman did his usual job of collecting short passes and first downs, then delivered the dagger with a 69-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

Edelman had one drop, which has been the norm for the shifty receiver, but he also has been extremely consistent, earning more and more of Tom Brady’s trust each game.

Edelman is on pace for his second consecutive 100-catch, 1,000-yard season after pulling in eight grabs for 141 yards.

DARRELLE REVIS
The Patriots cornerback was targeted only once by Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. He allowed a 3-yard catch to Keenan Allen — and that was it.

Revis blanketed the Chargers’ best receiver all game and deserves a lot of credit for the Patriots allowing just 163 yards through the air to San Diego.

ROB GRONKOWSKI
Gronk didn’t deliver any SportsCenter Top 10 plays, but he caught a touchdown pass and picked up 87 hard-earned yards on eight catches. The tight end has been Brady’s safety valve since suddenly regaining his health after Week 4.

Thumbnail photo via Denis Poroy/Associated Press