The Chargers won the toss and deferred to the second half. Josh Lambo got the action underway by bombing the opening kick out the back of the end zone. The Chiefs offense looked good early completing its first three pass attempts by picking on Jahleel Addae and Kyle Emanuel. The first positive play by the defense was a tackle for loss by Corey Liuget. Another Chiefs run stretched out wide set up a 3rd and 4 and excellent coverage gave the pass rush time to force Alex Smith to throw the ball away. Cairo Santos then came on to attempt a 47-yard field goal that he converted.
Craig Mager fielded the Chiefs kickoff and took a knee. Keenan Allen picked up a first down on the first play. Melvin Gordon lost yards on his first rush attempt. Danny Woodhead picked up about six on his first run up the middle. Chargers faced an early third down converted by Tyrell Williams who picked up 33 yards. Melvin Gordon then showed his training camp/preseason form that had us all so excited as he set up a 1st & goal. Defensive pass interference in the end zone made it 1st and goal from the 1. What followed was the play everyone expected: hand off to Melvin Gordon and he scored his first career touchdown.
The Chiefs looked primed to respond quickly, however. They picked up chunk plays on the ground and through the air as they crossed midfield. A pair of incompletions set up 3rd and 10. The Chargers sacked Smith and forced a fumble but offsetting penalties resulted in a replay of the down. Jatavis Brown then batted down the next pass at the line of scrimmage. He nearly intercepted it, but just forcing the 4th down and a punt was a big play.
Keenan Allen picked up yet another first down. Melvin Gordon demonstrated patience and decisiveness again. He looked fantastic. An incomplete pass brought up 3rd and 5, but Allen got open again and picked up another first down. That’s going to be a theme. A wide receiver screen to Tavis Benjamin picked up 8 on first down and set up an easy 2nd down that Woodhead converted on the ground. Gordon again finishing his runs, picked up five on first down. Antonio Gates picked up four more yards on his first reception of the game setting up third and short. Gordon picked it up easily. Woodhead then picked up another first down running between the tackles.
An incomplete pass set up second and 10. A delayed handoff to Woodhead picked up nine yards. Then the Chargers burned their final timeout. They got in the right play call, though, because Gordon rushed for another touchdown.
On the Chiefs first drive of the second half, Caraun Reid showed up and delivered a big time sack. A run by Ware got all of the lost yardage back, but still left them in a 3rd and nine. A false start made it 3rd and 14, though. Jerry Attaochu beat a double team for a drive-ending sack. Benjamin picked up 8 yards on the punt return (nearly 1/10 of the team’s PR total in 2015).
Allen reminded us all again that he is ALWAYS OPEN. Derek Watt puts the offense in a bad down and distance thanks to getting flagged for holding. A screen to Woodhead and a nice catch by Gates got them back to 3rd and 5 from the 12. Benjamin got open, made the catch, and put the Chargers in 1st and goal. The Chiefs allowed Woodhead to run free to the corner of the end zone where Rivers found him for an easy pitch and catch.
Three runs, one of them a QB run on a broken play, netted the Chiefs a 1st down. Then they left Manti Te’o completely unblocked and he blew up the run in the backfield. A screen to Travis Kelce mixed with some bad tackling put the Chiefs in 3rd and 2. The defense read the play quicky on 3rd down and never let it get going. Liuget made the tackle by the sideline.
A punt pinned the Chargers inside their 10, but a Gordon run and Allen reception picked up a first down. A pass to Gates would have been good for a first if Allen hadn’t missed a block. Allen made up for it by picking up a first on a shallow route.
Allen dropped to the ground with an apparent non-contact injury to his knee. It did not look good. The offense sputtered without him and punted the ball away with just under a minute left in the half.
The defense went into a prevent but they were able to force a punt from midfield and let the half end.
The Chargers start the second half with a big run by Woodhead. The offensive line opened up a huge hole and 39 did the rest. Dontrelle Inman, who replaced Allen, also had a positive play. On a third and short, Gordon hesitated and was stopped for a loss. San Diego lined up quickly to go for it and the Chiefs had to call a timeout. After the timeout, Mike McCoy did what he does in these situations and called for a punt.
The Chiefs attempted an end around but it was sniffed out and stopped for a short loss. A short completion followed and then Brandon Mebane killed the drive off with a sack.
Runs by Melvin Gordon and... Philip Rivers(?) got the Chargers inside the red zone. King Dunlap had a terrific block on the Rivers scramble. Travis Benjamin picked up another first down. Rivers is looking for him on 3rd downs. The Chiefs force a 3rd & 9 and the Chargers try to find Williams in the end zone. It fell incomplete and McCoy brought on Josh Lambo to attempt a field goal. He converted.
The Chargers failed to account for Ware on a long pass play. The safeties show off some awful tackling skills. Perryman missed a tackle and gives up a 9-yard run. Liuget beats his man badly and blows up a run play on 2 & 1. 3rd & 5 featured an incompletion on a deep pass. Andy Reid elected to go for it on 4th & 5. Kelce beat Casey Hayward for an easy first down. Rookie receiver Tyreek Hill scored the Chiefs’ first touchdown of the season on a nifty catch and run. Denzel Perryman missed a second tackle on that tunnel screen.
After a touchback, the Chargers took over at their own 25. The first play went to Benjamin for five yards. The next was Woodhead running for a first down. Rivers took a shot to Wiliams but came up empty. On 3rd & 2, he came up with another huge catch and run, however. He is dangerous on those crossing routes.
Rivers looks for Benjamin in the end zone, but Eric Berry saved a touchdown by committing a defensive holding penalty. A pair of ineffective plays brought up 3rd & 6, and nobody could get open, so Rivers threw the ball away. A Josh Lambo field goal made it a three-score game.
Jason Verrett stole the ball away from Jeremy Maclin for an interception, but because all turnovers are reviewed it was too early to celebrate. Thankfully, they did the right thing and confirmed the call on the field.
Alternating runs by Gordon and Woodhead picked up positive yards. A deflected pass on 3rd & 2 killed the drive, however. Rivers was visibly upset with himself. Lambo then came on to attempt a 54-yard field goal. He missed it wide right and gave the Chiefs good field position. He missed wide right making it even clearer how bad the decision to kick was.
One play and the Chiefs were in Chargers territory. The Chargers force a 4th down attempt and Manti Te’o got beat for a big gain. He got beat again on the next play. Jason Verret then got beat once for a first down and again for a touchdown. Unusual look for Verrett. Less unusual was watching a John Pagano defense go into a soft shell and give up huge chunks of yards when the game is still in doubt.
Hunter Henry showed up with a big 20-yard catch and run to start the drive. Back-to-back carries by Woodhead brought up a 3rd down. On 3rd down, the Chiefs tipped Rivers at the line.
After a solid punt return, the Chiefs picked up yards in chunks. Hayward made a big play breaking up a long pass attempt. Unfortunately, Ware broke a longer run on the next play. For some reason, the coaching staff had Jatavis Brown on the sideline in obvious passing situations. The defense finally stiffened enough to force a field goal.
The Chargers were in full turtle mode as they played it incredibly safe, picked up no first downs, and punted the ball away now only up one score. The rookie punter then drops a punt in that starts the Chiefs in Chargers territory despite no return.
Manti Te’o continued to get abused. Jatavis Brown continued to sit on the bench. Then Jeremy Maclin beat the safeties and Jahleel Addae tacked on one of the dirtiest hits you’ll ever see. Spencer Ware immediately punched the ball into the end zone. Cairo Santos tied it up with the extra point. At this point, you couldn’t even imagine a scenario where the Chargers win.
Whisenhunt dialed up a nice screen to Woodhead who picked up a first down and got out of bounds. Then Dee Ford sacked Rivers for a 10-yard loss. The Chargers responded with a give-up draw play, and then another. They then punted with 8 seconds left on the clock.
The Chiefs win the toss and elect to start with the ball. The Chargers even managed to be offside on the kickoff. Te’o was flagged for holding on the first play but they actually gave up a longer play, so it was declined. Everything the Chiefs did seemed to work. The Chargers managed no pass rush. Lowery and Emanuel are unable to cover anyone. Pagano had them try to cover Travis Kelce. A run by Ware moved the Chiefs inside the 5-yard line. On 3rd & goal, Smith kept it on an option play and scored.