Cam Cameron and Marty Schottenheimer provided Drew Brees with a masterful plan to beat the Chiefs. What made it so close was failure to execute. Brees turned the ball over twice in KC territory, as did Curtis Conway. The gameplan did not change after that. The Chargers kept on coming at the Chiefs as Brees got all his receivers involved in the game. By spreading the ball around and allowing Brees to take the helms, the Chiefs were in a state of confusion. The 4 offensive turnovers were all on the Chargers. Conway failed to protect the ball from Shaunard Harts and Brees made 2 ill-advised passes. Without those turnovers the score could very well have been 55-20 in favor of the Bolts.
The Chargers opened with 2 straight passes, one to rookie Josh Norman who just seems to find ways to get open and the other to LaDainian Tomlinson, for 29 yards and 7 yards respectively. That is a far cry from the conservative offense the Chargers have known during the first 5 weeks of the season.
The gameplan paid off as Brees hit Reche Caldwell on a 2-yard pass with 14 seconds left to win the game. That and Brees had 319 yards passing, going 28-41.
Stopping Priest Holmes
Anytime you hold the NFL's leading rusher to 63 yards on 23 carries for a 2.7 average you have to feel lucky and pretty good about yourselves. That is exactly how Ray Lee Johnson, Jason Fisk and Jamal Williams feel about themselves after stuffing Holmes 12 times for no gain or negative yardage.
"We came into the game knowing we are not going to shut that guy down,'' linebacker Ben Leber said. "He is too good of a player. You just want to contain him a little bit and limit his yards, both running and catching the ball. And it seems like we did that.''
Added Holmes: "They made great plays. The third-and-shorts, second-and-1, they definitely stopped us.''
So the Chargers asked for another weapon to beat them. Who knew that weapon would be the same Priest Holmes as a receiver. Holmes caught 7 balls for 96 yards and wreaked havoc in the open space.
Marc Boerigter also caught 4 passes for 85 yards and 2 touchdown passes as the Bolts ganged up on Tony Gonzalez. Shutting down the main weapons proved to be helpful.
By asking the Chiefs to go to other weapons the Chargers were able to have them play into their hands. Sure they dropped too far back in coverage and allowed Holmes to get his yards but they contained a number of weapons and pulled a win out in the end.
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