Antonio Gates caught a 14-yard yard scoring pass from Philip Rivers on the game’s opening drive to snap a streak of six straight quarters without a touchdown and the Chargers went on to a 31-13 victory over the staggering Chiefs on Thursday night.
Rivers, who looked shaky during the losing streak, did his part by completing 18 of 20 passes — a career-best 90 percent — for 220 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception. Rivers also threw a 13-yard TD pass to Malcom Floyd early in the fourth quarter.
The Chiefs‘ four turnovers ran their NFL-high mark to a staggering 29, which have led to 104 points.
With the Chiefs trailing 17-6, Matt Cassel fumbled as he was sacked by San Diego’s Jarret Johnson in the end zone and Shaun Phillips recovered for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. On the next drive, Cassel’s high pass deflected off Dexter McCluster’s hands and was intercepted by Demorrio Williams, who returned it 59 yards for a touchdown.
In just 2 minutes, 9 seconds, the Chargers‘ defense scored as many touchdowns as the offense has in 10 quarters.
Gates‘ first-quarter score was San Diego’s first touchdown since the star tight end caught an 11-yard pass in the first half against Denver on Oct. 15. That score gave San Diego a 24-0 lead, but Peyton Manning rallied the Broncos to a 35-24 win.
The Chargers got only two field goals from Nick Novak in a 7-6 loss at Cleveland on Sunday, their third straight defeat.
After San Diego scored on the opening drive, Kansas City went on a 17-play drive, converting four third downs, but Dwayne Bowe fumbled after a 10-yard reception. Williams caused the fumble and Quentin Jammer recovered.
Bowe’s fumble set up Novak’s 25-yard field goal with 9:10 left in the second quarter.
After Kansas City decided not to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the San Diego 31, Succop kicked a 49-yard field goal with 2:51 left before halftime.
Succop had a 41-yard field goal in the third quarter.
By John Solomon
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