It was supposed to be an easy victory for the San Diego Chargers today in their game against Kansas City, but it was anything but easy in their 20-17 win over the Chiefs. With the Chiefs driving late in the fourth quarter Erik Weddle intercepted Matt Cassel to preserve the victory as San Diego improved their record to 2-1.
The opening drive for San Diego ended in another interception for Philip Rivers. With San Diego driving Rivers floated a pass that was picked off by safety Kendrick Lewis. Kansas City was able to drive into San Diego territory, but missed on a field goal attempt and the first quarter ended scoreless.
The Chargers then took their first possession of the second quarter on a 15 play, 72 yard drive capped off by a 2 yard run by Ryan Mathews and San Diego led the game 7-0. It looks like San Diego is going to try and establish the run as Mathews has had 8 carries for 29 yards. Philip Rivers threw his second interception of the first half when he over threw Malcolm Floyd near the Kansas City goal line and the pass went into the waiting arms of Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers. Flowers returned the ball to the Kansas City 43, but could not move the ball and San Diego continued to lead 7-0. Kansas City has been outscored 99-10 this year. San Diego closed out the scoring in the first half when new San Diego kicker Nick Novak kicked a 35 yard field goal late in the second quarter and San Diego led 10-0 at the half. One bright spot for Kansas City in the first half is the pressure they are putting on Rivers as he is being rushed on virtually every passing attempt.
Kansas City finally got on the scoreboard early in the third quarter thanks to receiver Dwayne Bowe as Kansas City cut the San Diego lead to 10-7. Bowe made two big catches on the 6 play, 42 yard scoring drive. Bowe and Cassell hooked up for a 23 yard reception down to the San Diego 5 yard line and on the next play Cassel found Bowe for a 5 yard touchdown pass. San Diego answered right back to regain their 10 point lead. The Chargers went on a 7 play, 80 yard scoring drive capped off by a 4 yard run by Ryan Mathews. This was a very impressive possession; this is what good teams do after allowing the other team to score. The San Diego defense now needs to step up and cause a turnover, or allow Kansas City to go on an 18 play, 58 yard drive before settling for a field goal to narrow the score to 17-10 early in the fourth quarter.
San Diego once again put points on the board on their next offensive possession in the fourth quarter. San Diego went on an 8 play, 48 yard drive that ended in a Nick Novak 41 yard field goal to increase their lead back to 10 points at 20-10 half way through the fourth quarter. Kansas City refuses to go away and make things easy for the Chargers. Matt Cassel hooked up with wide receiver Steve Breaston on a 43 yard reception all the way down to the San Diego 1 yard line. On the next play Cassel found tight end Leonard Pope for a 1 yard touchdown and just like that it was a three point game, 20-17 and the Charger fans could not believe the score was this close late in the fourth quarter. San Diego looking to run out the clock marched into Kansas City territory and when faced with a fourth and inches decided to gamble and put an end to the Chiefs. Rivers attempted a quarterback sneak, but the Kansas City Chiefs were ready and stopped the Chargers and Kansas City had the ball with 1:26 left in the game. Kansas City was able to drive down to the San Diego 43 yard line on a 23 yard pass to Leonard Pope and things looked bad for San Diego. On the next play Cassel tried to throw a screen pass to Dustin McCluster, but Erik Weddle stepped in front of McCluster and San Diego escaped with a 20-17 victory. San Diego managed to get the win , but if they have Super Bowl aspirations they have a long way to go, once again the Chargers are not playing up to their capabilities.
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Written by Kevin Kelly