Snakebitten Year Continues with KC

Fresh from Thursday's win over the Raiders, the Chargers were hopeful of getting some Sunday help with the Chiefs upsetting the Broncos. But just like the Chargers' season, the Chiefs couldn't win it at the end.

The Chargers are now three games behind the AFC West-leading Broncos with three to play. One more Broncos win or one more Chargers loss, and Denver will clinch the West.

So despite playing a team with but two wins, the Chargers will be a desperate bunch on Sunday in Kansas City.

"We need to go win," coach Norv Turner said. "And Kansas City is playing well; played awfully well in a very close game against Denver."

The Chargers (5-8) also remember that the Chiefs (2-11) gave the Chargers all they could handle in a 20-19 victory in San Diego earlier this year. The Chiefs went for two points in the closing minute and failed.

Plus this time the Chargers will face the Chiefs featuring running back Larry Johnson this time around.

"Larry just brings another dimension," Turner said. "You have to tackle him; he is a big, strong guy."

Too bad Chiefs quarterback Tyler Thigpen isn't as stout. He fell short on a fourth-and-goal play Sunday that iced the win for the Broncos - much to the Chargers' chagrin.

"He came awfully close to scoring," Turner said. "You watch when he took off running and I didn't think he could make the end zone from as deep as he was."

The Chargers are deep with their own problems of sneaking into the playoffs. They remain alive, but by the slimmest of margins.


WR Vincent Jackson
Donald Miralle/Getty

NOTES, QUOTES

-- WR Vincent Jackson had a career-high 148 receiving yards one week after getting shut out in the loss to the Falcons. "I had more opportunities," said Jackson, who had a 59-yard touchdown catch. "I think I had only three or four catches the past few games. I got opportunities and got involved early in the game and took advantage of that."

-- While Jackson enjoyed a big game, the Chargers' top wide out, Chris Chambers, didn't have a reception. But he wasn't bumming after the game. "Not at this point," he said. "We're just getting wins anyway we can."

-- OLB Shaun Phillips said the difference Thursday night was the Chargers collecting four turnovers. "That's the one thing we've been lacking," said Phillips, who had a career-high 2.5 sacks. "I think we have been losing games because of our inability to create turnovers. When we see that we can create turnovers, we can win games."

-- ILB Stephen Cooper, who had career-high two interceptions, gave coordinator Ron Rivera kudos for his aggressive game plan. "Coach Rivera did a great job calling great defenses, trying to come from the weak side and strong side, trying to get different looks. It was just a good job with the play-calling.

-- Coach Norv Turner was impressed in how the Chargers bounced back after a draining loss to the Falcons last Sunday, which put a serious dent in their playoff hopes. "We had a very short week," he said. "Guys came back in on Monday and a number of them were beat up and had a lot of things they had to handle physically. And then we had to get ready for a game over a short period of time. Obviously our guys did a great job of preparing. They weren't distracted from a stand point of the way things have been going."

-- RB Darren Sproles scored two touchdowns for the third time in his career - it was the first time the two came on receptions.

PLAYER NOTES

--SS Clinton Hart (neck) didn't practice Monday after missing the game on Thursday.

--OLB Marques Harris (hamstring) returned to practice and should go Sunday.

--FB Mike Tolbert (shoulder) remains unable to practice.

--LB Anthony Waters (hamstring) didn't practice. He suffered the injury on Thursday.

--DT Jamal Williams will probably be rested on Wednesday to keep him fresh for Sunday.


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