Chargers Escape with a Victory 35-34 vs the Chiefs

The San Diego Chargers overcame 5 turnovers to win 35-34 against the Kansas City Chiefs, scoring on their last drive of the game with 14 seconds left. More fitting was ex-Chief Donnie Edwards intercepting the ball on the last play of the game.

The Chargers opened their first possession with 2 straight passes. The first went complete to Josh Norman for 29 yards and the second to LaDainian Tomlinson for 7 yards. Tim Dwight was then able capitalize on an end around and scored going 19 yards and giving the Chargers an early 7-0 lead. It only took the Bolts only two minutes to score on the drive.

On the next possession, Kansas City was able top drive the ball using Priest Holmes catching passes from Trent Green out of the backfield. The Chargers were able to limit them to a Morten Anderson 28-yard field goal. Anderson has made 22 straight successful attempts.

The Chargers then continued their special teams woes with a blocked punt. On the play Larry Atkins came in untouched as the right tackle missed his assignment. Glenn Cadrez would recover the ball and return it to the SD 1. Holmes ran it in seconds later with a second effort run as Jamal Williams had his upper body wrapped up but Holmes legs just kept churning to get the tough yard and a 10-7 lead for KC.

The Chargers got the ball back and were driving as they seemed to do all day. Drew Brees threw a pass to Curtis Conway who caught the ball but was then stripped of it by Shaunard Harts. Eric Warfield recovered the ball deep in KC territory ending the drive. Conway would fumble later in the game ending another Charger drive and was stripped by Harts again. Greg Wesley would recover that ball.

Late in the second quarter the Chargers were driving again. With 4th down and 2 at the KC 32, the Chargers went for it and converted as Brees threw a 20 yard pass to Josh Norman. Three plays later Brees dropped back and threw an ill-advised pass intended for Tim Dwight. The problem was Dwight was a good 5 yards away from the throw. Eric Warfield got the interception the 4 yard line and returned it 5 yards to the 9.

Holmes would lead the next drive running 3 times for 32 yards and catching 1 pass for 12 yards setting up a 44 yard pass from Green to Marc Boerigter for a touchdown. Ben Leber did not drop back into coverage on the play and Boerigter was wide open. Rogers Beckett had a chance to make a tackle but missed it and Boerigter went in untouched and the Chiefs were up by 10, 17-7 which became the halftime score.

On the first drive of the second half Tamarick Vanover returned a kick for 39 yards the Chargers longest return on the season. Setting up the Chargers with good field position they created another mental error as Brees threw an interception in the end zone caught by Jason Belser and returned 45 yards. Yet another drive squashed by a turnover.

The Chiefs would not capitalize on the turnover.

After Darren Bennett pinned the Chiefs deep in their own end, Green came throwing. His first pass was a lob pass to what appeared to be a wide open Eddie Kennison, but Keith Lyle raced across the field to intercept the ball and bring it back to the 9 yard line. LaDainian Tomlinson would punch it in 2 plays later to make the score 17-14.

After KC went three-and-out, Dan Stryzinski punted the ball to Vanover who for some reason did not call for a fair catch and got mauled by Gary Stills fumbled the ball which was recovered by Scott Fujita of KC. Three plays later Green would connect with Boerigter for a touchdown pass over Alex Molden who misplayed his coverage on the play. KC got back its 10 point lead 24-14.

The Chargers came right back on their next possession and scored on another reverse, this time to Conway from 11 yards out to make the score 24-21. The drive was helped by a 15 yard face mask penalty on Mike Maslowski.

KC would not let go of its need for a 10 point lead so easy. On the very next possession they drove 60 yards with Green hitting all his receivers and score on a 3 yard touchdown pass to Tony Gonzalez. Gonzo was wide open on the play as the Chargers expected a running play and Adrian Dingle was left to cover, or not cover in this case, Gonzo.

Drew Brees again showed his fortitude driving the Chargers 65 yards in four minutes. The drive was capped off by an 11 yard strike to Tim Dwight whop ran it in to the end zone and brought the Chargers within 3 points again, 31-28.

With four minutes left and the Chargers having all their timeouts they were able to hold KC to a field goal. Morten Anderson connected from 43 yards out, his 23rd in a row, to make the score 34-28. They used all their timeouts on the drive to keep enough time on the clock for themselves.

With 2:30 left the Chargers got the ball back for their final drive. Brees played the clock magically and hit Conway 3 times (18, 16, & 25 yards) on the drive. With :19 seconds left and a 3rd and 1 on the 3 yard line, Drew Brees dropped back to pass and found the most unlikely target, rookie Reche Caldwell, at the front of the end zone for a touchdown and the win. The catch was Caldwell's first touchdown reception and it could not have come at a better time.

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