One dimensional

"They had a simple game plan: Get the ball to Tony Gonzalez. When that's all they're trying to do, it makes the job a lot easier." -- Chargers LB Steve Foley, noting that the Chiefs seemed preoccupied with getting their tight end the nine catches he needed to break Ben Coates NFL record for single-season receptions for a tight end (96).

Chargers report card:

PASSING OFFENSE: B- -- Mixed bag here, as the ageless Doug Flutie and the kid, Philip Rivers, split time. Flutie displayed his quickness and accurate arm as he ran for one score and threw for another. Rivers got his first NFL touchdown pass, but he looked every bit like someone taking his first significant NFL snaps. Pass-blocking was excellent.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- Michael Turner averaged 5.8 yards on 15 carries, for an impressive 87 carries. Andrew Pinnock, another youngster, rushed for 26 yards on nine carries. The run-blocking opened some massive holes, which is more telling why the kids did all right. The regular front line played in the first half.

PASS DEFENSE: C -- Still not sold on this secondary, as Trent Green went for 373 yards and a score. But he did get hit for a career-high four interceptions, two of which came from the front seven. To be fair, it was mostly the backups playing in the second half. Still, considering the skill of quarterbacks the Chargers could face in the playoffs, that No. 31 ranking doesn't bode well.

RUSH DEFENSE: B- -- After a couple of down weeks, the run defense got its groove back on, limiting the Chiefs to 70 yards. That's impressive in that Jamal Williams, the anchor in the middle of the line, didn't play. Instead, Ben Leber led the charge with a game-high nine tackles, and Stephen Cooper looked good with seven tackles.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- Some progress here, as the return team basically kept Dante Hall under wraps, save a 37 kickoff return. P Mike Scifres had an off day; he said his tweaked thumb wasn't the reason. K Nate Kaeding gets a nice little boost going into the playoffs with a 34-yard field goal. Return game wasn't much -- Robb Butler did get off a 24-yard kickoff return -- with Tim Dwight sitting this one out.

COACHING: A -- Let someone else argue about the integrity of the NFL when healthy players are sitting out -- despite fans paying top dollar for tickets. Schottenheimer played it smart by resting his star players. And he got a win, too. It will be interesting to see, though, if some Chargers show some rust by not playing. But it was the right strategy, especially on a short week with the playoff game on Saturday.

Chiefs report card:

PASSING OFFENSE: C -- Trent Green racked up a bunch of yards (373), but most came after KC fell behind 24-3 and was throwing against San Diego second-teamers. He forced the ball too often and ended up with four interceptions, two of which came on plays inside the Chargers 30.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C - RB Larry Johnson averaged only 2.7 yards on 17 carries against the NFL's second-ranked rush defense, even though few of San Diego's top defenders played into the second half. He was effective, however, in taking two short passes for 30 and 40 yards as part of his 115-yard receiving effort.

RUSHING DEFEENSE: D -- Even without RB LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chargers averaged 4.6 yards in rushing for 138 yards on 30 carries. Third-teamer Michael Turner ripped off a 30-yard run on his first carry in which he carried several would-be tacklers and set a tone for the rest of the game.

PASS DEFENSE: D - QB Doug Flutie threw like anything but a 42-year-old QB in throwing for 199 first-half yards and a 17-3 lead at intermission. He needed only 52 seconds to move the Chargers 64 yards on five plays for a 10-yard TD pass to rookie TE Ryan Krause that hiked San Diego's lead to 17-3 just before halftime. Chiefs CB Dexter McCleon was burned for a 27-yard completion in that final drive, then gave up a fourth-quarter TD pass to rookie WR Malcom Floyd. Flutie and rookie Philip Rivers both had 100-point passer ratings.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- Dante Hall returned a squib kick 37 yards to the Chargers 41 to give Kansas City a chance the Chiefs didn't cash seconds before halftime. Lawrence Tynes tied his longest field goal of the year with a 50-yarder, but then missed from 33.

COACHING: F -- Left guard Brian Waters provide the explanation for the grade here. "Evidently we didn't do the things we needed to do this week in preparation for taking care of our business today," the Chiefs Pro Bowl guard said afterward. "I don't know if the coaches got us prepared well enough or the game plan was good enough. Evidently, they weren't. It was a team effort and everyone should take their part of the blame. This should give us plenty to think about in the offseason."

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