Chargers Report Card:
PASSING OFFENSE: A -- The passing game helped carry the load in this shoot out, as Drew Brees threw for a career-high 378 yards, and two touchdowns. Brees was cool in his reads and again stayed away from mistakes which hampered last year, but haven't surfaced this season. Antonio Gates, and not Tony Gonzalez, was the most productive tight end on the field with two touchdown catches. Eric Parker continues to grow in his role, as he had a career-long 55-yard reception. The pass blocking was very good, as Brees was seldom pressured and sacked but once on a corner blitz.
RUSHING OFFENSE: C -- LaDainian Tomlinson had more yards receiving than rushing, which tells you all you need to know about the running game. Surprisingly, the front line wasn't able to dictate the play against the Chiefs' suspect defensive line. Tomlinson, too, had trouble with his footing as he often stumbled before hitting the hole. The big contribution came from Eric Parker, who rushed for a team-high 58 yards on two reverses.
PASS DEFENSE: B- -- A pretty solid effort here as the secondary restricted Trent Green and the revved Chiefs passing attack to 208 yard, no touchdowns. Donnie Edwards had the game's only interception, and it came late in the game. The pass rush was decent, which helped the back end. But mostly it was the tight coverages. CB Sammy Davis, a starter, left in the second quarter. But his replacement, Drayton Florence filled in well.
RUSH DEFENSE: C- -- What happened? The league's top run defense faced a running game minus Priest Holmes, but couldn't stop it. The Chiefs ran for 110 yards, which is only the second time in nine games a team has gone for more than 100. The gap assignments weren't right and there were problems in the alignments. Nothing that can't be fixed, but the players were baffled that the Chiefs OL -- which is darn good -- had such an easy time opening holes.
SPECIAL TEAMS: F -- The team essentially gave up two touchdown returns to Dante Hall, although Hall fumbled one inside the 20 which saved the Chargers. Hall gained 233 yards on six efforts, with a long of 96. Not only were the coverages suspect, but Nate Kaeding missed an extra point, a field goal and had a kickoff sail out of bounds. Tim Dwight had a long of 26 to highlight the Chargers' return game.
COACHING: A -- Marty Schottenheimer did something that Mike Riley and Kevin Gilbride couldn't do: coach the Chargers to a win at Arrowhead Stadium. Schottenheimer gave further proof that Marty Ball is dead as he opened the game with a reverse and mixed it up from there on out -- give kudos, too, to offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Any time you can win at Arrowhead is special, but when you can do it by rallying from a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter, is something else. That tells you a team is well-coached and isn't overwhelmed by the circumstances.
Chiefs Report Card:
PASSING OFFENSE: C -- In having his four-game string of 300-plus yard games broken, QB Trent Green was very average in hitting only 21-34 for 208 yards. He also threw another killer interception from his own 24 late in the game to set up San Diego's game-winning field goal. His 66.8 passer rating was his lowest since Week Two.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- Derrick Blaylock (8-57, 2 TDs) and Larry Johnson (10-43) were the main cogs in a 110-yard attack against the NFL's best rush defense. Kansas City averaged a solid 5.5 yards a pop.
PASS DEFENSE: F -- A failing grade for the second straight week. The Chiefs seldom hurried Drew Brees on the best passing day of his career (28-37, 378 yards with two TDs and no picks) or got near his receivers. Brees completed five passes of more than 23 yards with two of 50-plus against a Chiefs defense that was missing its two starting safeties.
RUSH DEFENSE: B -- Kansas City was effective in limiting the dangerous but still ailing LaDainian Tomlinson to only 21-46 with two short TDs. But wideout Eric Parker ripped the Chiefs for two reverses for 58 yards to give San Diego a respectable 127 rushing yards and a 4.1-yard average.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- Dante Hall's 96 yard kickoff return, in which he scored untouched, averts the failing grade. Hall also dropped a potential kickoff return TD when he shifted hands while running in open field at the Chargers 15. Steve Cheek's punting was bad (33 yards gross and net) and Lawrence Tynes missed a PAT in addition to kicking off short most of the day. Coverage on kickoff returner Tim Dwight was solid (22.5 average on six kickoff returns).
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