Chargers Crushed 27-14

If anyone was wondering whether Priest Holmes was back, it was evident the question wasn't too bright. Holmes is back, and he needed just one quarter to prove it. He scored twice in the first quarter and pummeled the San Diego Chargers defense with receptions when he wasn't running. Kansas City had the game wrapped up at halftime in a 27-14 win. In fact, the game wasn't as close as the score might indicate.

"Like a heavyweight fight, expect some body blows early," Marty Schottenheimer said, and he wasn't kidding.

On the first run from scrimmage, Quentin Jammer snuffed out Priest Holmes as he headed right on a sweep. A loss of two and fans may have thought the Chargers defense may just step up their play. It was not to be. A quick 21 yard pass from Trent Green to Eddie Kennison, on a gorgeous play fake, across the middle, opened things up. A few passes to an uncovered Holmes out of the backfield set up the rest.

Priest Holmes capped the Chiefs first drive downfield with a 24 yard touchdown run that put the Chiefs up quickly 7-0. Willie Roaf opened up the whole by taking out Ben Leber on the play.

Three missed passes by Chargers receivers eventually came back to haunt the Bolts. One in particular, a bullet from Brees to Caldwell, bounced off the right shoulder pad of Reche Caldwell and was intercepted by Glen Wesley deep in Kansas City territory that he returned 16 yards to the KC 41.

Holmes gets his second touchdown of the day from five yards out as he beats Zeke Moreno and Carlos Polk to the right corner of the end zone. Vernon Fox had a chance but got tied up at the line thinking the play would go inside. It was also the second touchdown by Holmes in the first quarter. The play was setup by a Marc Boerigter catch 25 yards downfield between Kwamie Lassiter and Tay Cody. Tony Gonzalez cleared out an open space underneath drawing coverage and allowing Boerigter to slip past uncovered. It was all setup by the Wesley interception.

The first short yardage attempt by the Bolts goes to Lorenzo Neal on third and one and he gets the necessary yardage in a crucial situation, with the Chargers down by 14. They would not capitalize as Brees was sacked for the second time by Vonnie Holliday and the first catch by a Chargers wide receiver came with roughly 14 minutes to go in the second – the reception by Dwight was short of the first down.

The Chiefs continued to pour it on. Holmes caught a swing pass to the right from Green and Will Shields blocked the only defender close, Ben Leber, which sprang Holmes for a 31 yard gain. The next play from scrimmage, Green found a wide open Johnnie Morton in the end zone for a 21-0 lead with 10:15 to go in the second quarter. Morton made a nice outside in move to beat Sammy Davis and Quentin Jammer as the secondary got mixed up on coverage.

The Chiefs got the ball in great field position again around midfield and Green wasted no time in finding Dante Hall 22 yards downfield in front of Kwamie Lassiter and zone coverage. With the ball at the 31, the Chiefs could not get a first down and settled for a Morten Anderson 42 yard field goal to make it 24-0 with 5:11 to go in the first half.

The first break for the Chargers came in the third quarter when Quentin Jammer made a great interception, playing man coverage on Kennison. Jammer jumped the sideline route and used his long arms to make the interception at the SD 43 and he returned it to the 49. The play was challenged by the Chiefs and the call on the field stood, an interception, the first ever by Jammer in his 15th game.

The Chargers capitalized on the play. The drive was all Drew Brees. Brees first hit Josh Norman for a first down on third and nine when he scrambled to his left when the pocket collapsed and hit Norman on a crossing route for 16 yards. Then on a reverse to Caldwell, Brees set up the lead block to give Caldwell room to go 14 yards. Then Brees hit Norman across the middle for a touchdown as Norman was man to man on Scott Fujita. Norman went into the end zone untouched, a 21 yard touchdown reception to make the score 24-7 with 8:16 left in the third.

The Chiefs came back, taking 11 plays and small chunks of yardage to get into field goal range where Anderson promptly kicked a 47 yard field goal through the middle fo the uprights to put Kansas City up 27-7 with 2:20 to go in the third quarter.

Jerry Wilson nailed Trent Green on a blitz from the outside as he never got picked up. The ball got knocked loose and Marcellus Wiley got the recovery at the KC 23. Facing third and one, the give was to LaDainian Tomlinson who could not get the first. On fourth and inches, the Chiefs stuffed Tomlinson again and took over the ball on downs at the KC 14, still up 27-7.

Taking just less than three minutes, Brees went 5-6 on a drive to lead the Bolts to a touchdown, culminated by a pass to Eric Parker in the end zone. Parker made a nice grab as the ball was slightly behind him. Brees hit Caldwell, Dwight, Boston and Norman in succession before hitting Parker in the end zone. 4:30 remained in the game.

An interception by Shaunard Harts ended any comeback attempt by the Chargers.

Notes:

Mike Scifres, Kevin House, Matt Wilhelm, Courtney VanBuren, Jacques Cesaire, Stephen Alexander, Antonio Gates, and Otis Leverette were inactive for the game.

Leon Johnson, Doug Flutie and Bob Hallen were active but did not play.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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