Chargers win in Arrowhead, 34-31

A sea-saw battle between the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs took it to a new level in the fourth quarter. The Bolts put 17 points on the board while Kansas City netted 14 and Nate Kaeding – almost a goat – turned into the hero as the Chargers erased the demons of Arrowhead and won 34-31.

A defensive holding on Eric Warfield wiped out a sack for KC, setting the Chargers up with a first down at the San Diego 44 with about ten minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Drew Brees then connected with LaDainian Tomlinson for eight, Keenan McCardell for 23 and finishing the drive off with an 18 yard touchdown to Antonio Gates. The extra point put the Chargers in the lead, 24-23. Brees went 6-for-6 for 71 yards on the drive.

Dante Hall took the ensuing kickoff back 96 yards for a touchdown to put KC back in the lead. The Chiefs went for two but an offsides penalty on Tony Gonzalez pushed them back to the seven. The Chiefs still went for two and converted when Trent Green hit Eddie Kennison in the back of the end zone.

An illegal formation penalty on Roman Oben wiped out a fifty yard gain by Gates in the fourth quarter. Brees turned around and hit Kassim Osgood for a 65 yard completion on the right sidelines on second and 22. Gates then caught his second touchdown of the game from 11 yards out to tie the game at 31 apiece. The Chargers offense committed four penalties on the drive.

On the next drive, Donnie Edwards picked off Green and returned it to the KC 32. Brees pulled off a bootleg to his left on third and four – taking it nine yards for a first. A sack caused a loss of seven on third down and Nate Kaeding came on for a 43 yard field goal which he nailed to put the Bolts in the lead 34-31, the fourth lead change of the day – and a Chargers victory.

With the threat of a Tomlinson run coming on the first play from scrimmage for the Chargers, the Bolts ran a reverse to Eric Parker which gained 19 yards and quickly put the team in KC territory. Brees hit Gates twice but the big play was a scramble from Brees right up the gut for 14 yards. It was all for naught when Kaeding missed a 29 yard field goal wide left. The Chargers had scored a touchdown on the opening drive of each of the past three games.

After a short punt from KC, Brees threw a strike to Parker on the left sidelines. Parker snared the ball over his outside shoulder for 55 yards to the two yard line. Tomlinson then ran it in to put the Chargers up 7-0. Brees had his foot stepped on by Toniu Fonoti but still got the ball to Tomlinson for the score.

After Kaeding kicked the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, Green hit Gonzalez twice for 39 yards, including a 27 yard pass down the sidelines that set the Chiefs up with first and goal from the five. Derrick Blaylock then took it in from five yards out to tie the game.

Backed up inside their own ten, Kansas City handed off to Larry Johnson three times for 22 yards and Green hit Gonzalez twice for 22 yards to take the ball into San Diego territory. Green then got Jason Dunn involved with a 16 yard gain on a crossing route. Johnson then added a ten yard run and eventually ran it in from six yards out for his first touchdown of the season. It marked the first time San Diego has trailed in a game since 8:13 left to play in the third quarter of the Carolina game on October 24.

Tomlinson got on track with a 14 yard gain on the next drive. McCardell added two receptions and was also called for his second offensive pass interference penalty of the game. A fumbled snap forced the Bolts into a third and 15 situation. Brees hit Gates for the first down. A bullet to Eric Parker put the ball inside the five yard line. Tomlinson pushed in his second touchdown of the game from three yards out to tie the score.

Kansas City converted a fourth down and inches on the San Diego 34 with under two minutes to go in the half when the Bolts jumped offsides. Green then hit Gonzalez for the second time on the drive and had a seven yard scramble. The Bolts held them out of the end zone and Lawrence Tynes knocked in a 28 yard field goal to put them up 17-14.

A 27 yard pass from Brees to Kassim Osgood setup a field goal attempt from 52 yards out with time running out in the half. Kaeding's attempt was low and missed wide left.

The Chargers began their second drive of the third quarter at midfield. The Bolts began the drive with an end-around to Parker that gained 38 yards down to the 12 yard line. A hand tackle saved a touchdown run and the Chargers could get no closer. They settled for a Kaeding field goal from 25 yards out to tie the game.

Green completed 4-of-5 on the next drive, including a 25 yard pass to Gonzalez on third and nine to put the ball down at the San Diego 31. After a nine yard run by Blaylock, he took the ball in from 22 yards out as Jerry Wilson missed him in the open field. Tynes then missed the extra point.

Lucky turning point:

Dante Hall had a seam and was gone. Osgood, hustling down the field, looked to be catching up as Hall crossed the twenty. The ball simply slipped out of Hall's hands as he looked back to see who was trailing him and was recovered by Jerrell Pippens inside the San Diego five.


SD Super Chargers Top Stories