Drum Beats: San Diego Grades

It's officially on in the AFC West. The Kansas City Chiefs came up with a clutch 30-16 win over the reeling San Diego Chargers, putting them in a three-way tie with the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders for tops in the division at 2-2. Oh, and it was head coach Herm Edwards' 50th regular season win.

For the second consecutive week, the Chiefs overcame a halftime deficit for the win, this time scoring 24 unanswered points. By the time the game was over, Kansas City sent a message the rest of the division – they are a threat.

But it wasn't without some degree of difficulty. The offense still struggles with consistency, and the defense will still get beat for big plays at bad times. The Chiefs are still a work in progress, but at least it appears they're going in the right direction. With six of their next eight games at home, the Chiefs might have a chance to make some noise in the NFL. Maybe.

Pass Offense


Chiefs Quarterback Line: 17/29, 284 Yards, 2 Touchdowns, 2 Interceptions

Once again, quarterback Damon Huard did an overall solid job of managing the game, which is all he has to do for the Chiefs to be successful. Rookie wide receiver Dwayne Bowe had his coming out party, setting a Chiefs' rookie record for receiving yards in a game with 164. Fifty-one of those yards came on a touchdown pass from Huard, where Bowe broke free from a defensive back on a quick pass and streaked to the endzone.

Tight end Tony Gonzalez also showed up to the party, chipping in 71 yards and a touchdown of his own, tying him for the all time record with Shannon Sharpe.

Grade: A-


It took a while, but the offense found another weapon, and the Chiefs took advantage of him. Welcome to the NFL, D-Bowe.

Run Offense


Chiefs Running Back Line: 28 Carries, 126 Yards, 4.5 Yards Per Carry, 0 Touchdowns

Better, but the Chiefs still struggled to make an impact with the running game. Larry Johnson got over the century mark with 123 yards, but it took a 37-yard run with about two minutes left to get there. At some point, Kansas City's going to have to get the running game on track, probably as early as this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Grade: C


The Chiefs haven't had a rushing touchdown since the regular season last year. That's five consecutive games.

Pass Defense


Chargers Quarterback Line: 21/42, 200 Yards, 0 Touchdowns, 2 Interceptions

Speaking of breakout years, this just might be linebacker Derrick Johnson's. So far, he's got 26 tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble and logged his first interception today. Johnson and the rest of the defense harassed Philip Rivers all game, intercepting him twice and forcing a fumble, which was recovered by rookie cornerback/dance machine Tyron Brackenridge, who ran the ball in for a score. Tight end Antonio Gates was held under 100 yards for the second time this season, something the Chiefs needed to focus on and were able to execute.

Grade: A


Even though the Chiefs only reached Rivers once, they were able to disrupt the timing of the Chargers' passing game.

Run Defense


Chargers Running Back Line: 24 Carries, 133 Yards, 5.5 Yards Per Carry, 1 Touchdown

Running back Ladanian Tomlinson had over 100 yards and a touchdown by halftime. You know the rules.

Grade: D-


Alright, so they don't get an F, even though they allowed a 100-yard rusher. The Chiefs held Tomlinson to under 20 yards in the second half.

Special Teams


Punter Dustin Colquitt is still kicking the heck out of the ball. Kicker Dave Rayner has played well since signing with the team. He made all three field goals today, and showed good leg on his kickoffs. Colquitt and Rayner are the main reasons the Chiefs are among the best in the NFL in opponents' average starting position.

Grade: C+

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