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.
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.