Chargers reserves win, 24-17

The San Diego Chargers tuned up for the playoffs on Sunday, already knowing that they would face the New York Jets in playoff action on Saturday after the Steelers beat the Bills. Philip Rivers and Doug Flutie each threw a touchdown pass and led the Bolts to a 24-17 victory.

Doug Flutie began the game as the starting quarterback with Drew Brees inactive. He opened up the game with a quick hit to Justin Peelle for a first down before Michael Turner took his first carry of the game 30 yards down to the Chiefs' 22. The Bolts got inside the ten but settled for a 34-yard field goal from Nate Kaeding to cap a nine-play drive and take an early 3-0 lead.

The Chargers took over on their own 11 after a Matt Wilhelm interception. Flutie hit tight end Ryan Krause twice for 44 yards, including a 29 yard gain where Krause dragged defenders down inside the ten yard line. A botched snap on the field goal attempt resulted in Mike Scifres falling down and trying to throw it up for grabs, hoping a Chargers was in the area. Greg Wesley intercepted it and returned it 25 yards. San Diego challenged the call but the call on the field was upheld.

A thirty yard pass from Trent Green to Larry Johnson set the Chiefs up near midfield. They would cap a nine play drive with a 50-yard field goal from Lawrence Tynes to tie the game at three.

Vintage Flutie appeared on the Chargers next drive. Flutie escaped pressure in the pocket and scrambled for twenty yards. Flutie then hit Krause over the middle for 17 yards to put the ball inside Kansas City territory. Flutie followed that by tossing one up for Kassim Osgood who out-muscled the defender and came down with a 28 yard reception to give the Bolts first and goal at the five. Andrew Pinnock took the next carry and fumbled the ball but Mike Goff recovered on the one yard line. Flutie punched it in with a quarterback sneak from one yard out to give the Bolts a seven point advantage.

Benny Sapp caused Turner to fumble the ball with just over a minute to go in the half and Monty Biesel of Kansas City recovered, returning the ball to the San Diego 29 yard line. Terrence Kiel intercepted the first pass attempt from Trent Green after the fumble recovery to give the Chargers the ball back. He returned the ball to the San Diego 36. Flutie wasn't taking a knee and hooked up with Osgood 27 yards down field to the KC 37. Flutie then threw up a jump ball for 6-foot-5 Malcom Floyd who came down with the reception on the ten yard line, a 27-yard pass. The five-play drive was capped off with a 10-yard pass from Flutie to Krause to put the Bolts up 17-3.

Green hit Tony Gonzalez for a 32-yard gain to give the Chiefs first and goal midway through the third quarter. The Chargers' defense held tight on the first three downs, keeping them out of the end zone. Kansas City went for it on fourth and goal from the two and Green tried to connect with Gonzalez but Hanik Milligan laid a hit on him in the end zone to force an incompletion.

A 15-yard helmet-to-helmet penalty on Matt Wilhelm gave the Chiefs the ball inside the Chargers twenty yard line. The Chargers defense again kept them out of the end zone and a 34-yard field goal attempt by Tynes went wide left.

Adrian Dingle intercepted a Green pass with 9:22 to go in the fourth. Jason Fisk batted the ball up in the air and Dingle caught the redirect to give the Bolts the ball on the KC 39. Turner rumbled 26 yards, breaking four tackles to bring the ball down to the 13 yard line. Philip Rivers then connected on a fade route with Malcom Floyd in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown, career firsts for both players. The score put the Bolts up 24-3.

The Chiefs quick strike offense finally got on the board with a nine-play, 78-yard drive. Eddie Kennison caught a 37-yard pass in the middle of the field and Larry Johnson followed it up with a touchdown run from two yards out to make the score 24-10. The drive took less than three minutes off the game clock.

Scott Fujita of the Chiefs recovered the onsides kick and Green went 6-for-7 for 61 yards to bring the Chiefs within seven. The Chiefs would try another onsides kick but Clinton Hart recovered. The Chiefs got the ball back once more but Drayton Florence sealed the victory with an interception.

Lightning Quicks:

The time for Saturday's matchup between the New York Jets and San Diego Chargers will be 5 PM PST.

Gonzalez' 94th catch of the season with just over eight minutes to go in the third quarter established a new team record. He caught his 97th reception of the game with six minutes to go in the fourth quarter, breaking the NFL record for most catches by a tight end (Ben Coates) in a single-season. The Chiefs established a new NFL records when they converted their 388th first down of the year in the fourth quarter.

Rivers' first completion to gain positive yardage went to Andrew Pinnock for an eight yard gain. On Friday, he and his wife Tiffany welcomed their second daughter, Caroline, to the world.


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