Series-by-series Gameday Analysis

The turbulent season continues for the Chargers, who gave up 24 unanswered points to a Kansas City Chiefs team that scored more on Sunday than they had all season. The following is a series-by-series breakdown of the 30-16 loss, as was originally posted on the Insider Message Boards.

--LaDainian Tomlinson has heard enough about his dismal rushing yardage. He picked up 19 yards on his first two carries of the game. When Philip Rivers went to the air, his first target was Antonio Gates, who gained 27 yards on a first-and-15. On the game's first third down (third-and-3), Rivers went back to Gates for a first down. Two more Tomlinson carries followed, resulting in another first down. The Chargers brought back the unbalanced line -- a suggestion made earlier in the week in this SDBoltReport.com exclusive -- on first down, gaining 5 yards. They went away from the formation on second and third down and were forced to settle for a Nate Kaeding field goal, putting the Chargers ahead, 3-0.

-- The Chiefs came out throwing, trying to catch the Chargers off balance. However, Carlos Polk knocked down Damon Huard's first throw. That was followed by a 1-yard run by Larry Johnson and a false start penalty on Kyle Turley. Dime back Cletis Gordon jumped in front of Samie Parker on third down, knocking down the ball and forcing a punt. A 8-yard return by Darren Sproles set the Chargers up at their own 45-yard line.

--Donnie Edwards sniffed out a delayed screen to Lorenzo Neal on first down, stopping him for no gain. On second-and-11, Vincent Jackson caught a skinny post for 39 yards to put the Chargers back in the red zone. Craig Davis got in on the action on the next play, picking up 8 yards on a rollout by Rivers. Tomlinson picked up the first down behind a Kris Dielman block. One play later, Tomlinson walked into the end zone for a 10-0 lead.

--Rookies Eric Weddle and Brandon Siler were in on the kickoff coverage, putting the Chiefs at their own 18-yard line. Craig Davis' former college teammate, Dwayne Bowe, got inside position on Drayton Florence to pull his team out of the hole with a 22-yard pickup. Shaun Phillips added to his team-best sack total by getting around Turley and sacking Damon Huard, forcing a third-and-22. The Chiefs hit Tony Gonzalez on third down but well short of the first. Tim Dobbins was called for holding on the punt and the Chargers took over at their own 6-yard line.

--On second-and-10, Tomlinson picked up 15 yards on the final play of the first quarter. Tomlinson has 59 rushing yards at the end of the quarter. Rivers finished the quarter completing six of eight passes for 82 yards, hitting four different receivers. The second quarter started on a sour note, as Michael Turner fumbled away his first carry of the game. The Chiefs took over at the San Diego 22-yard line.

--The Chiefs turned to Larry Johnson, who carried three consecutive times for a first down. The Chiefs continued to feed the big dog, giving Johnson two more carries to set up third-and-goal. Linebackers Shawne Merriman and Siler stepped up and stopped Johnson for a loss and the Chiefs settled for a 21-yard field goal by Dave Rayner.

--After a failed outlet pass to Tomlinson, the Chargers faked a reverse to Davis and handed to Tomlinson up the middle for an 11-yard gain. The Chargers then went back to the reverse to Davis for a gain of 4 yards. The drive ended with a pair of incomplete passes, the second of which was deflected by Alfonso Boone. The Chiefs knocked down three passes at the line of scrimmage in the first 18 minutes of the game. Mike Scifres was called on for the first time in the game and set the Chiefs up at their own 23-yard line.

--The Chiefs drive ended after one play when Huard threw the ball off Merriman's helmet and into the arms of Marlon McCree. It was McCree's second interception of the season. The Chargers took over at the Kansas City 36-yard line.

--The Chargers went with L.T. on first and second down, but on third-and-1 Lorenzo Neal was hit for a 1-yard loss. Nate Kaeding came through, however, drilling a 51-yard field goal with room to spare to push the lead back to double digits, 13-3.

--Steve Gregory made a great play on the ensuing kickoff, dragging down Eddie Drummond at the Kansas City 15-yard line. The Chiefs turned to Johnson to carry them out of the hole, as L.J. gained 12 yards on his first two carries. The Chiefs went to their air and exposed a lazy tackle by Drayton Florence, moving all the way to the San Diego 48-yard line after Florence failed to push Kris Wilson out of bounds along the sideline. After three consecutive incomplete passes, Dustin Colquitt punted into the end zone and set the Chargers up at their own 20-yard line with 4:31 remaining in the first half.

--Rivers tossed his fifth inexplicable interception of the season, throwing while he was getting hit and being intercepted by Ty Law. Davis was open deep on the play but Rivers has to know to throw that ball away as the pocket was collapsing on him. --The Chiefs got moving with a 28-yard pass to Bowe to set Kansas City up with first-and-goal at the 10-yard line. After an incompletion and a 3-yard loss on a big tackle by Merriman, the Chiefs hit Johnson on a check down and settled for a 25-yard field goal by Rayner, making it a one-possession game at 13-6 with 1:23 left in the first half.

--The Chargers got their two-minute drill moving with a 37-yard run by Tomlinson, who was a half step away from taking it to the house. A 17-yard pass from Rivers to Malcom Floyd set the Chargers up at Kansas City 24-yard line with 20 seconds left in the first half. From there, the Chargers settled for a 37-yard field goal by Kaeding and a 16-6 halftime lead.

HALFTIME NOTES: It didn't take Tomlinson long to get that 100-yard monkey off his back, as he surpassed the century mark by halftime with 116 yards on 14 carries...Rivers completed just two of his final 11 passes of the half...The Chargers led by 10 despite losing the turnover battle, 2-1.

--The kick coverage team did a nice job again, as Drummond has yet to pass the 20-yard line. The Chiefs got backed up right away on a holding call against Jason Dunn, who was beaten by Shaun Phillips. After a pair of short runs by Johnson and Michael Bennett, the Florence dragged down Bowe for a 7-yard gain, forcing a punt by Colquitt. Sproles brought the kick back for a season-long 20 yards and set his team up at its own 35-yard line.

--Rivers came out looking to break his funk, hitting Gates on a quick release for an 11-yard gain and Neal for 8 yards along the sideline. After a 3-yard run Tomlinson, Rivers threw a near interception to Patrick Surtain, who cut in front of Jackson downfield. Jackson got a hand in to deny the turnover. On a third-and-8, Rivers threw low for Gates and brought Scifres onto the field. Scifres' punt sailed past Kassim Osgood and into the end zone, giving Kansas City the ball back on its own 20-yard line.

--The Chiefs let Bowe go to work on a zero route, as he slipped a tackle by Quentin Jammer to pick up 11 yards. Huard then found Bowe over the middle for 16 yards, where Bowe took a big hit by McCree. The offense continued to roll, hitting Gonzalez for 18 yards and a 5-yard add on for a face-mask penalty by Clinton Hart. After a 3-yard run by Johnson and an incomplete pass by Huard, Stephen Cooper knocked down a swing pass and forced a long field goal. Rayner hit the 41-yard attempt and once again made it a one-possession game, 16-9.

--Rivers came through early on the drive, hitting Tomlinson for 3 and Gates for 8 on a third-and-7 play. Then, Rivers choked -- as he has done all too frequently this season -- by throwing to Tomlinson before he was ready for the ball. The ball was intercepted by Derrick Johnson and set the Chiefs up at the San Diego 36-yard line.

--A screen pass to Johnson moved the Chiefs down to the 22-yard line. From there, Gonzalez leaped over Jammer and Cooper in double coverage to haul in a score and tie Shannon Sharpe for the most touchdown receptions in NFL history by a tight end. The Chiefs tied the score at 16 and now have 13 of their 16 points off Chargers turnovers.

--Sproles had a nice return to set his team up at the 39-yard line. The Chargers went to L.T. on a swing pass and a sweep right for gains of 3 and 2, respectively. On third-and-5, Rivers stared down Jackson and had his pass broken up by Law. Tomlinson now has three carries in the third quarter after getting 14 in the first half.

--On the final play of the third quarter, Huard hit Bowe in front of Jammer for 16 yards to move the Chiefs to their own 39-yard line. After a failed screen pass and a 5-yard connection to Gonzalez, Huard hit Bowe in front of Antonio Cromartie, who seemed oblivious to the down and distance. The reception took Bowe over the century mark on the day. The Chiefs were backed up by a holding call against Brian Waters, who was battling Merriman. Then, Merriman delivered in crunch time, beating former Charger Damion McIntosh and sacking Huard for a loss of 8 yards. On third-and-19, Huard hit Bowe for a 51-yard catch-and-run and a 23-16 lead.

--Trailing for the first time, the Chargers ran Tomlinson up the middle and then hit him on a short screen, setting up third-and-2. Mysteriously, the Chargers lined up in shotgun and threw to Gates in double coverage downfield. After the three-and-out, the boo birds were flying at Qualcomm. A 40-yard punt by Scifres set the Chiefs up at their own 30-yard line with 10:26 left in the game.

--The Chiefs started the drive with a 13-yard pass to Bowe, who out-muscled Florence on the play. Two plays later, the secondary finally stepped up and made a play. Jammer deflected a pass intended for Bowe into the arms of Hart, who returned the ball to the Kansas City 41-yard line.

--On his second offensive play, Rivers lost the game for his team. He held to ball too long, fumbled when hit by Derreck Johnson and watched Tyron Brackenridge run the ball in for the touchdown.

--Rivers found some rhythm as the Chiefs fell into a prevent defense. He completed consecutive passes to Gates, Jackson and Tomlinson to move the Chargers to the Kansas City 45-yard line. On the next play, Jackson got free down the sideline but dropped a sure touchdown as the ball squirted through his hands. Sproles followed with his first catch of the season, a 14-yard gain. A pass to Gates set the Chargers up at the 5-yard line. Surtain nearly created another turnover but couldn't get two feet down on a near interception. On third-and-goal from the 5-yard line, Rivers neglected Tomlinson open in the flat and threw the ball away. On fourth down, with the game on the line, Rivers threw incomplete to Davis. Jarrad Page made the pass breakup. The fans began the chants of "Marty! Marty!"


SD Super Chargers Top Stories