Chiefs 28, Chargers 24

The San Diego Chargers were home to face the number one team in the NFL on Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs. With promises of a blowout, the Bolts went down 14-0, gaining seven yards on four possessions, before closing the gap to 14-7. The Chargers had their opportunities, but could not convert as they came up with the timely mistakes a 2-10 team is expected to en route to a 28-24 loss at Qualcomm.

Ending a streak of 163 straight attempts without an interception by Trent Green, Quentin Jammer picked off the first play from scrimmage by the Chiefs at the San Diego 38. The Bolts could not capitalize, going three and out.

Two runs by Holmes for a first brought the ball into San Diego territory after a 24 yard punt by Darren Bennett. Jammer made a nice stop on third down to bring up fourth and two at the SD 36. After a timeout, Green hit Johnnie Morton for a first down. Three plays later, Priest Holmes took the ball around the right end to score from seven yards out to put the Chiefs up 7-0.

Leon Johnson returned the ensuing kickoff 60 yards down to the KC 29. DeQuincy Scott sprung him on the play. Three runs by LaDainian Tomlinson did not produce a first down. Steve Christie attempted a 40 yard field goal that went wide left and the Chiefs remained up 7-0. It appeared Eric Downing got a hand on the ball.

Two 16 yard gains, one a rush by Priest Holmes running over left guard and a dumpoff to Tony Gonzalez over the middle uncovered gave the Chiefs prime field position at the SD 33. Holmes took over the drive after that with 21 yards from scrimmage. A leap into the end zone by Holmes ended another 12 play 70 yard drive with a score. From the two, Holmes leaped into the end zone, expecting to get hit, but going in unscathed for his second touchdown of the game, 14-0 Chiefs.

Johnson returns another kickoff 53 yard to the KC 38, remaining the lone bright spot for San Diego to this point. Doug Flutie went deep on the first pass, trying to hit David Boston around the goal line. The pass was intercepted by Dexter McCleon as it was thrown too deep. Courtney Van Buren was flagged for unnecessary roughness on the play to give the Chiefs better field position than the four yard line where the interception occurred.

Doug Flutie ran a bootleg on third and three to give the Chargers their first first down of the game, gaining 12 yards. A pass to Boston for 12 yards setup another third down. With one yard to go, Flutie ran a quarterback sneak and scooted through a hole untouched by a Chief and gained 12 yard rolling on the ground with his awareness that he was not touched. Two six yard runs by Tomlinson led to six and closed the Chiefs lead to 14-7. Damion McIntosh mauled his side of the line to open the hole for LT.

After a 32 yard punt by Bennett to the KC 40, Holmes follows his blocks and Terrence Kiel makes a touchdown saving tackle 25 yards downfield. Kiel was the first man to even touch Holmes. Derrick Blaylock had two runs for 12 yards and Holmes was given the rock again, gaining 19 yards to the five yard line for first and goal. Adrian Dingle got to Holmes in the background, four yards behind the line as the game went into the two minute warning. Green settled into the pocket after the solid runs by KC and hit Gonzalez for a touchdown over the middle as Donnie Edwards overran the play with Gonzo cut his route and turned back inside, 21-7 Chiefs.

Flutie, commanding the two minute drill, ran twice for 17 yards and Tomlinson had 18 yards from scrimmage to give the Chargers a 48 yard field goal attempt, and another miss by Christie.

Opening the half, KC was flagged for a face mask penalty on their only nemesis thus far, Leon Johnson, giving the Chargers the ball at the 44. Flutie hit David Boston on an inside out pattern then hit Antonio Gates on fourth down and nine for a first down fourteen yards downfield. Flutie again hit Gates, this time for 17 yards and first and goal at the five. Flutie made a dumb mistake on third down at the five. Holding onto the ball too long he threw a jump ball into the end zone that was almost picked off before landing in Kassim Osgood's hands. Oz could not hang onto the ball and it fell incomplete. Christie hit from 21 yards out to make the score 21-10.

Tomlinson finally hit his hole in the third. Lorenzo Neal opened up a hole off left tackle and Boston had a solid block downfield to spring Tomlinson for 55 yards to the KC 20. On third and ten Boston was left wide open in the back left corner of the end zone. Boston slipped past the defender and McCleon released him as Flutie scrambled to the left. Flutie hit him for the touchdown, a 20 yarder, to bring San Diego within four, 21-17.

Dante Hall returned the ensuing kickoff to the 50 yard line to give the Chiefs great field position. Morton caught a pass over Wilson, playing zone, for 35 yards to put the ball at the 16. Soon it was first and goal from the two. Carlos Polk shed two blocks to trip up Holmes in the backfield for a loss of four and Dingle followed by smacking the ball out of Green's hand to cause a fumble that bounced back to the 20 yard line before Donald Willis fell on the ball to bring up third and goal from the 20. For the first time all year a chant of, "Defense! Defense!" went up. Jammer followed with his second interception of the game, this time in the end zone.

Taking a shotgun on third and nine, Cory Raymer snapped the ball slightly low and it went through Flutie's hands bounced off his chest and went back to the line where the Chiefs defense recovered. With the ball at the 27, the Chiefs used Holmes to run five times for 26 yards to set the ball up at first and goal from the one. Another run by Holmes lost two, the next run on second down gained nothing, before third down produced a touchdown pass to Gonzalez running out in the flat as Jammer got screened, Chiefs 28-17.

Leon Johnson returned the kick to 37 and Larry Johnson was flagged for a late hit, giving the Chargers the ball at the KC 49. After two throws to Boston totaling 36 yards, Flutie threw a floater to Reche Caldwell in double coverage in the end zone that was intercepted by Glen Wesley and returned to the 19 with 4:20 to go in the game.

The Chiefs took three minutes off the clock before giving the ball up and the Chargers could not mount the comeback with just over a minute to go. The moved the ball downfield with two receptions by Osgood totaling 54 yards before hitting Gates for an 18 yard touchdown as time ran out, 28-24.

Denis Savage can be reached at

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