This week, Flashback features the first POSITIVE retrospective on the last time the Chargers faced their upcoming opponent. The last time the Chargers faced the Kansas City Chiefs was Week 14 of the 2010 season. The Chargers were coming off an embarrassing game where they were dominated at home by the Oakland Raiders at the tune of 28-13, and lost control of their own destiny in the AFC West. The Chiefs were coming off a win at home against the Broncos, where both sides struggled to score, and Kansas City scraped by Denver 10-6. The biggest news for the Chiefs was the fact that quarterback Matt Cassel had come down with appendicitis after the game, and the resulting surgery forced him from the starting lineup.
The Chargers knew that to have any shot at winning the division, they had to take care of business at home against the Chiefs. And take care of business they did. Kansas City backup Brodie Croyle had no shot to do anything positive whatsoever in this game. About the only thing he accomplished was to avoid throwing an interception. He finished the day completing 7 of 17 passes for 40 yards (still better than Donovan McNabb!) and was sacked four times. Jamaal Charles managed 40 yards on 10 carries, which lead to so-so 4.0 yard per carry average, but the Chiefs had the ball so little (19 minutes and 50 seconds, compared to over 40 minutes for the Chargers) that he didn't have much in the way of opportunities.For the Chargers part, they scored early and often, leading 21-0 at the half. Philip Rivers was efficient, completing 18 of 24 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns (though he did throw one interception). Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert mirrored each other almost exactly--each carried 16 times, Mathews for 65 yards and a TD, and Tolbert for 66 yards and a TD. Despite Malcom Floyd and Rivers each fumbling once, the offense controlled the game from start to finish, and the Chiefs limped home from Qualcomm Stadium without managing a single point. The final score was 31-0 San Diego.
So what's changed now? The Chargers are almost exactly the same team, with a few differences here and there. The Chiefs, on the other hand, will have Matt Cassel this time. But on yet another hand, this time they're missing Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles, and Tony Moeaki. The Chiefs have been outscored this year to the tune of 89-10. If the Chiefs lose this game, their season is essentially over. Let's make that happen, what say?