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Rivers, Chargers beat Cassel-less Chiefs 31-0
The Chargers ran for a season-high 207 yards a week after being held to 21 in a 28-13 loss to Oakland.
Darren Sproles bounced back from a concussion to catch five passes for 51 yards and run six times for 53 yards. Fullback Mike Tolbert gained 66 yards on 16 carries and scored once, and rookie Ryan Mathews had 65 yards on 16 carries and a score.
“These backs were tackle-breaking machines,” Chiefs coach Todd Haley said. “Each one of them, although not with a ton of carries, had broken a lot of tackles. We had to have a great tackling game and we didn’t do that.”
Said Chargers right tackle Jeromey Clary: “They’ve got fresh legs and they’re all different styles of runners. Mike Tolbert is the bowling ball, Mathews is the bowling ball with a little bit more speed than Tolbert and Sproles is just good speed. They’re tough to prepare for.”
The Chargers are above .500 for only the second time this season. It was their first shutout since winning 27-0 at Oakland on Sept. 11, 2006.
The Chiefs were shut out for the first time since a 34-0 loss at Carolina on Oct. 5, 2008. They had only 16 yards and one first down in the second half. Croyle dropped to 0-10 as an NFL starter.
“I think if Cassel played we were going to play great anyway,” Chargers safety Eric Weddle said. “That was just our mentality. Maybe they would have put up a little more yards, but I don’t think one guy would have made a difference in a 31-0 game.”
The Chiefs didn’t put up a fight.
Rivers led the Chargers to a 21-0 halftime lead. He threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Floyd on San Diego’s first drive and hit him again with a 9-yard TD pass with 40 seconds before halftime. In between, Tolbert ran 8 yards untouched for a touchdown midway through the second quarter.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, were outgained 256 yards to 51 yards in the first half and had only four first downs compared to San Diego’s 17.
Rivers was intercepted and lost a fumble on consecutive drives in the third quarter.
Nate Kaeding kicked a 48-yard field goal Mathews scored on a 15-yard run in the fourth quarter.
It was the Chiefs who started the Chargers out on what’s been a mediocre season by beating San Diego 21-14 on Sept. 13. Rookie Dexter McCluster returned a punt a team-record 94 yards for a touchdown, the first of many special teams blunders by the Bolts.
The Chargers more than returned the favor.
“I think what’s critical for our team is that when you have a devastating, critical loss at a big moment in your season, you can use that to make you work harder, more diligently and stick together,” Haley said.
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
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