Kansas City Chiefs Take Down San Diego Chargers For Big AFC West Win
September 14th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

Entering the 2010 NFL Season, the San Diego Chargers were the the top betting favorite to make the post-season on USA Online Sportsbooks.  Now, however, following the 21-14 defeat to AFC West rival Kansas City, the Chargers find themselves in a field of questions.

The Chiefs came out of the gate on Monday Night at home looking to put the past behind them, as it has been a struggle to win football games in Kansas City over the last several seasons.  The win on Monday night over the Chargers 21-14 however, could be the start of a new era.

Entering the contest, the Chargers were set as a 5 1/2-point favorite on USA Online Sportsbooks and NFL Weekly Betting Lines to defeat the Chiefs.  The over/under was set at 45 points prior to kick off, but went the under as the team’s total reached just 35 points.

San Diego got on the board first late in the first quarter to go up 7-0 on a three-yard touchdown pass from Phillip Rivers to Antonio Gates.  From there, the Chiefs reeled off 21 unanswered points.  That, was spearheaded by running back Jamaal Charles, who busted through the Chargers defense for a 56-yard touchdown run with :37 seconds left in the first half to go into the locker room knotted at 7-7.

Coming out in the third quarters, Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel marched the offense down the field for a score with 05:55 remaining after a two-yard touchdown pass to Tony Moeaki.  Four minutes later, Dexter McCluster received a San Diego punt and took it 84 yards, and the Chiefs led 21-7.

“That’s the longest of my career at any level,” McCluster said in a post-game interview. “What better time than that — ‘Monday Night Football’ in Arrowhead. You couldn’t ask for a better time.”

From there, the defense was able to hold off a charge by the San Diego offense, despite a 59-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to receiver Legedu Naanee.

“In rain and wind and really tough conditions, we were able to protect the football through the game,” said chiefs head coach coach Todd Haley. “I had that as No. 1 key for our offensive group. This is a big win for us. But it can’t be too big.”

For the Chargers, they are left with a loss, but can take solace in the fact the they started last season losing three of their first five, before winning 11-straight.

“They made some big plays in all three phases,” Chargers coach Norv Turner said. “They handled the environment in terms of the weather conditions. I thought they did a good job in handling that, particularly in the second quarter.

“The disappointment for me comes obviously from our [kick] coverage teams. We think that should be a strength for us and something we work hard at.”

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