NFL Wire News

Chiefs 19, Chargers 7


Kansas City, Mo. — There was no more fourth-quarter magic on Sunday for the San Diego Chargers, as their chance to make the AFC playoffs ended at Arrowhead Stadium with a 19-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Led by quarterback Philip Rivers, the Chargers were able to overcome a 21-point deficit last weekend and beat San Francisco in overtime. On this day, they fell 10 points behind the Chiefs in the second quarter and were unable to generate enough points for a winning comeback. The Chiefs were not lighting up the scoreboard either behind backup quarterback Chase Daniel as numerous chances in the scoring zone ended up as four field goals for Kansas City.

Both teams finished the 2014 season with 9-7 records. The Chiefs had an outside chance to make the playoffs with a Cleveland victory over Baltimore and a winning effort by Jacksonville against Houston. But the Ravens made the AFC field with their 20-10 victory over the Browns. The Texans also won, topping the Jaguars 23-17.

The Chiefs got a strong effort from its defense, forcing three turnovers by Rivers and outside linebacker Justin Houston had four sacks. That gave Houston 22 sacks for the season as he became the 10th pass rusher in NFL annals to register 20 or more sacks. It also allowed him to break a Chiefs franchise record for sacks in a season, topping the 20 of Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Thomas from 1990.

In the first half, the Chiefs had multiple opportunities to score touchdowns, but ended up settling for three field goals from kicker Cairo Santos along with a touchdown play that did not come in the normal manner.

On a 2nd-down play at the Chargers 11-yard line, Daniel connected with wide receiver Dwayne Bowe for what appeared to be the first wide receiver touchdown play for the Chiefs this season. But Bowe fumbled at the goal line and the ball was recovered in the end zone by tight end Travis Kelce. The officials on the field ruled Bowe scored, but a replay review showed he lost control before scoring and Kelce got credit for the fumble recovery and score.

Santos hit field goals of 43, 21 and 27 yards as the Chiefs continued a recent trend of stumbling in the opponent’s red zone.

San Diego got on the scoreboard in the second quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Branden Oliver. The big-play in the 6-play, 69-yard possession was a 44-yard completion from Rivers to wide receiver Eddie Royal that gave the Chargers the ball at the Chiefs 1-yard line.

The Chiefs moved the scoreboard again early in the third quarter, but they settled for another field goal (31 yards) even though they had a 1st-and-goal at the Chargers 5-yard line. A Chiefs penalty and a sack by San Diego’s Corey Liuget stymied the possession. The field goal gave the Chiefs a 19-7 lead that they held for the rest of the afternoon.

The Chargers thought they had a touchdown in the fourth quarter, when they lined up with a 1st-and-goal at the Chiefs 3-yard line. On the 2nd-down play Royal caught a 3-yard pass at the back of the end zone for what was signaled a touchdown, but a replay review showed the ball hit the ground as he was trying to secure the catch. Rivers was incomplete on the next two throws as the Chiefs put together an important goal-line stand. They later held on a 4th-and-inches run by the Chargers.

Notes: Daniel made his second career start, replacing Alex Smith who was declared out with a lacerated spleen. … The Chargers started their fifth center of the season against the Chiefs as Trevor Robinson opened at the position for the injured Chris Watt (ankle) who was inactive for the game. … San Diego strong safety Marcus Gilchrist left the game in the second quarter with an elbow injury and did not return. … San Diego cornerback Shareece Wright left the game in the third quarter with a head injury and did not return. … With his third field goal in the first half, Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos established a new club record for scoring by a rookie. That kick gave him 110 points, topping the 107 points scored by Hall of Fame kicker Jan Stenerud in 1967. … K.C. running back Jamaal Charles came into the game needing 21 rushing yards to pass the 1,000-yard mark for the fifth time in his career and he picked those up in the first half. It gave him three consecutive seasons with 1,000-plus rushing yards, matching the club-record of Priest Holmes, who had 1,000-yard seasons in 2001-02-03.

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