SAN DIEGO – The lights were a little brighter playing in front of a national television audience on Thursday Night at Qualcomm Stadium, but the storyline of the season largely remained the same for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs were unable to overcome many of the same mistakes that have plagued them in recent weeks, dropping their fifth straight game with a 31-13 loss to the San Diego Chargers.
The Chiefs kept it close until early in the fourth quarter. A defense playing without starting cornerback
Still, it wasn’t enough for the Chiefs, who promptly surrendered 21 points during the fourth quarter of what had been a close game.
When Rivers connected with Malcom Floyd for his second passing touchdown of the night midway through the fourth quarter to put the Chargers up 17-6, it could have been considered the dagger for the Chiefs. When Cassel was sacked in the end zone and then fumbled on the next possession to set up a chip-shot field goal by Nick Novak, it felt over. When Chargers linebacker Demarrio Williams returned a Cassel interception 59 yards for a touchdown on the next series, it largely was.
The Chiefs, who entered the game with a -18 turnover differential, were indeed hurt by the four turnovers against the Chargers. But several other mistakes played a factor. And when the Chiefs did have opportunities, they simply could not take advantage.
Trailing 10-3 to start the second half, the Chiefs stalled and punted on their first possession. Chargers safety Eric Weddle muffed the catch, which was recovered by
The story was no different during the first half. Trailing 7-0 in the first quarter, the Chiefs first turnover – a fumble by
The turnover led to a long drive capped by a field goal from Novak to give the Chargers a 10-0 lead.
The Chiefs converted two more third downs on the ensuing possession to reach the Chargers’ 31 yardline. But when
The Chiefs’ running game was noticeably absent for a second straight week, as the Chargers negated
Charles left the game late during the fourth quarter with a neck injury, and did not return for the team’s final series.
Cassel scrambled six times for 37 yards, and
The Chargers opened the scoring on the first possession of the game, capping a seven-play, 84-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Antonio Gates. Rivers completed all four of his attempts on the drive and the last found Gates, who beat Eric Berry in man-to-man coverage, in the front corner of the end zone.
San Diego had an opportunity to score late in the second quarter, but Rivers was intercepted by Berry in the end zone on a pass intended for tight end Dante Rosario. It was Berry’s first interception of the season.
The Chiefs added a late touchdown when
Notes: Chiefs starting left guard