On Sunday, September 26, the San Diego Chargers squeaked out a win at home against the winless Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 20-17. Neither team was particularly impressive in this game, and it seemed as if the Chargers were able to win because they made one less mistake than the Chiefs.
The Kansas City chiefs couldn’t manage to gain many yards or score in the first half, and the more talented Chargers should have been able to put this game out of reach. In fact, the team did not manage a single first down the entire first half. However, due to a few mistakes of their own, the Chiefs were able to keep the score competitive the entire game.
With a 10-0 lead at halftime provided largely due to the efforts of running back Ryan Mathews, the Chargers gave up a four yard touchdown pass from Matt Cassel to Dwayne Bowe in the opening drive of the first half. The Chargers were then able to put together a long 80 yard drive themselves to extend their lead to 17-7.
After the two teams each scored field goals on stalled drives, the Chiefs were able to close the gap on a short touchdown pass to Leonard Pope. This score made the game 20-17 with only 5 minutes left to play.
The Chargers attempted to run the clock out with their next possession, but a stout Kansas City defense stopped Rivers on a 4th-and-1 play to force a turnover on downs. This huge stop gave the Chiefs and Matt Cassel a final attempt to defeat the Chargers.
The Kansas City Chiefs were playing without Pro Bowlers Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, and tight end Tony Moeaki. They were a team decimated with injuries to star players, but despite this, they had a chance to beat their division rival, and turn around a rough season start.
With 55 seconds left on the clock, and the Chiefs threatening to score to win the game, Eric Weddle intercepted Matt Cassel as he attempted to throw a screen pass to Dexter McCluster. This interception allowed San Diego to run out the clock and win a game that they barely deserved to take from the Chiefs. The Chargers looked sluggish and unenthusiastic the entire afternoon, and were lucky to capitalize on the feeble Chiefs’ mistakes.
In his post-game press conference, Philip Rivers acknowledged that he has to play better and make fewer mistakes if the Chargers are to win their division and contend in the playoffs. Rivers has thrown a total of six interceptions this season, two in each of the first three games. The Chargers will have a difficult time winning in future weeks, as all-world tight end Antonio Gates stated in the media this week that he’s considering sitting out three to five weeks to rest his right foot. It is possible that this foot injury will linger the entire season, and Rivers will need to find a new “go to” receiver.
Buy your Charger tickets now to see them host the Miami Dolphins in Week 4.