John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

No Excuses, But Losing Tamba Hali and Justin Houston Hurt The Chiefs


The Kansas City Chiefs lost to the San Diego Chargers 41-38 in what can only be described as a shootout.

The Chargers were able to put up 491 total yards of offense and quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 392 yards and three touchdowns.

Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense was able to keep up with the Bolts for the most part, but in the end, it was the Chiefs’ defense that couldn’t get the job done.

Thanks to a Dwayne Bowe touchdown with 1:22 left in the game, the Chiefs kicked off to the Chargers with a 38-34 lead. Unfortunately, Rivers was able to lead the Chargers quickly down the field, and capped off the late-game heroics with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Seyi Ajirotutu with 26 ticks left on the clock. 

For as good as Smith and the offense was, Kansas City’s defense just couldn’t get it done.

While I’m sure defensive coordinator Bob Sutton isn’t going to make any excuses for his unit, the Chiefs’ defense suffered two big blows in the first half that could have really impacted the outcome of the game.

Tamba Hali and Justin Houston both left the game in the first half with injuries, and neither player was cleared to return to the field. Considering what both players have meant to the Chiefs’ defense this season, the loss was quite substantial.

The Chiefs were only able to notch one sack today, and that was on a good play from Eric Berry late in the fourth quarter. If the Chiefs were able to get more pressure on Rivers, perhaps the Chargers’ offense wouldn’t have had so much success at Arrowhead.  That’s hard to do with your two best pass-rushers out of the game with injuries though.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

One can only imagine if the outcome of this game would have been different had either Hali or Houston played in the second half. Unfortunately we’ll never know, and this Chiefs team that was the talk of the NFL with their undefeated streak has now lost two games in a row heading into the rematch with Denver.

Hali left the game with an ankle injury and Houston suffered an elbow injury. Both players will undergo MRI’s in the morning.

Tags: Alex Smith Justin Houston Kansas City Chiefs Philip Rivers Seyi Ajirotutu Tamba Hali

  • micah stephenson

    Dam

    • stevekozak

      Yep, Dam. How was this one Alex’s fault?

    • Frank

      Please enlighten us on how Smith lost us this game.

      • Larry Devore

        int leading to SD touchdown. it;s not all on smith. but you can’t throw an int deep in your own territory.

  • Aaron Martin

    If they are both out, then this defense will not recover. I hate to be negative, but we were already regressing the past few weeks.

    • T.Hagen

      I agree. Sad. I am a true fan of the Chiefs, it was bred in me handed down from my dad. It’s like I’m addicted to looking up chiefs on the Internet, tv, magazines, ect. I’m a Chiefaholic . You fans out there know were I’m coming from. I seen it for years , they always find a way to lose and it’s not looking good right now. Hopefully I’m wrong and part of it is the Chiefs have spoiled us this year with nine straight wins and the offense is finding their Groove now the defense needs to pull together again and kick some ass. I can’t keep doing this it takes a lot of my time and energy being a chiefs fan, shit it takes me at least a week to let go of a loss. I age in dog years every football season and the stress is like a cancer, but when the Chiefs win I lose the stress and I feel youthful again. I’m kidding myself if I’ll ever quit being a chiefs fan, never I’m an addict. Go Chiefs!

      • paul pace

        Here, here! There are a lot of us out there that probably feel the same way you do! I know I do and I am devastated over this loss! It will take me several days to recover, but then the Donkeys are coming to town and it will start all over again!

  • gary

    Yeah it hurt – but boneheaded clock management hurt more – and with Reed that will never heal. He was awful in Philly and this was just inexcuseable…th game was won and he’s throwing the ball to make sure Rivers has 2 TO’s left and 1:20? Idiotic!

    • Doc

      Doesn’t really matter – defense lost this game. Or we’re you watching another game? How many times did Allen get wide open and burn us? I guess that had Sutton stymied too. Receiver pick plays? Guess that also fools him too. Too bad our receivers can’t run the same pick plays for big yardage. Then again they really can’t get separation so can’t really expect them to run effective crossing patterns. No, this game was not lost with a bad time out call. It was lost before that one play.

  • Young_september

    Pretty sure sean smitn got burned on the last score.