Chargers
Chiefs
22 - 21 Final
  for this game

Rivers' late strike keeps Chargers alive

Dec 15, 2008 - 1:20 AM By Marc Bowman PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- The San Diego Chargers aren't dead yet.

Philip Rivers tossed a pair of touchdown passes in the final 73 seconds as the Chargers eked out a 22-21 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

The victory kept San Diego's faint playoff hopes alive. The Chargers, who rallied from an 18-point deficit, are still in contention in the AFC West after Denver (8-6) lost to Carolina hours later.

Rivers came up huge in helping the disappointing Chargers rally for the improbable win. He completed 34-of-48 passes for 346 yards and an interception, including 248 yards passing in the second half.

"This was big for us," Rivers said.

"There have been so many doubts and we've (fallen) short of the expectations. The way we've bounced back these past two weeks in our division and won says a lot about our guys. It is big for our locker room and team, no matter what plays out the rest of the day."

San Diego now needs to win next week and hope Denver loses, which would set up a season-ending showdown that could decide the AFC West title.

"We're so involved in a week-to-week basis, getting ready for each game that we don't think about it," Chargers head coach Norv Turner said.

"Obviously, it's not in our hands. The only thing's in our hands is finding a way to win next week. How I look at the season will be when the season's over. That's when you evaluate things you have to evaluate."

Kansas City led, 21-10, before Rivers capped a 15-play drive with a 4-yard strike to Malcolm Floyd with 1:13 to play.

The Chargers (6-8) recovered Dwayne Bowe's fumble on the ensuing onside kick.

"We practice it a lot," Turner said. "Steve Crosby is as thorough a special teams coach as I've ever been with. We practice all those situations regularly and we have different options based on what they do and how they line up."

"Generally he makes a catch like that," Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards said of Bowe's muffed catch. "I thought he had it. They must have (knocked) it loose when he was in the air."

On the next play, Rivers connected with Vincent Jackson for 42 yards down to the Kansas City 19-yard line. He ran for nine yards before hitting Jackson for a 10-yard score with 36 seconds left.

"Once Vincent made that catch we had plenty of time," Rivers said. "We were at the 40-yard line and we had a minute and 11 seconds left with three timeouts. We felt we had the time.

While it is an issue, it is not a huge issue. We've got plenty of time."

"That shouldn't happen," Edwards said of the pass to Jackson. "We're in four-deep (coverage) and know what they have to do. They have to score a touchdown. You've got to keep the ball in front of you and you don't want them to get vertical. I don't know what happened."

The Chiefs got within field goal range with the help of a Chargers penalty - but Connor Barth's 50-yard attempt missed wide left as time expired.

"The conditions were perfect," Barth said. "The offense got me down there. I had my chance and the wind was at my back. You couldn't have asked for anything else."

LaDainian Tomlinson began the comeback when he scored on a 6-yard run halfway through the third period, cutting Kansas City's lead to 21-10.

The Chiefs (2-12) struck first, chewing up nearly eight minutes on a 15-play drive before running back Larry Johnson tossed a 4-yard TD to tight end Tony Gonzalez for a 7-0 lead with 5:05 left in the first.

After Kansas City recovered a fumble by Jackson, Tyler Thigpen capped a nine-play, 54-yard drive with a 1-yard strike to Bowe with 2:53 left in the half.

San Diego managed just 106 yards in the first half, but a 32-yard field goal from Nate Kaeding made it 14-3 at halftime.

The Chiefs struck quickly in the second half, converting a 50-yard interception return by Patrick Surtain into a 3-yard touchdown run by Thigpen to extend their lead to 21-3 early in the third quarter.

Thigpen completed 19-of-28 passes for 171 yards, one touchdown and one interception while Johnson led Kansas City with 55 yards on 17 carries.

"It hurts," Thigpen said. "It hurts like every loss. A loss is a loss and all we can do is take from it, learn from it. We've got so much to learn from this loss. I hope everybody on this team knows that. The game's never over."

"That's a tough one," Edwards said. "In 30 years, I've never lost one like that. This is the toughest one we've had this year, and we've had some tough ones. We've lost six games now within (one) score. We left some points on the board, we threw an interception in the red zone, missed a field goal. Those points come back to haunt you in close games."






  • 149
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    Chargers 22, Chiefs 21  FinalDec 15 12:48 AM
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    Chargers 22, Chiefs 21  FinalDec 14 8:06 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 0 3 7 12 22
    KANSAS CITY 7 7 7 0 21 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: KAN - TD, TONY GONZALEZ 4 YD PASS FROM LARRY
    JOHNSON (CONNOR BARTH KICK), 10:01.
    Drive: 15 plays, 96 yards in 7:50.
    Key plays: Thigpen 5-yard pass to
    Bowe on 3rd-and-3 to Kansas City
    11; Thi

    Dec 14 4:32 PM
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    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Chargers 22, Chiefs 21  4th - 0:31Dec 14 4:31 PM


  • NFL
    MISSED FG KAN
    CONNOR BARTH 50 YD ATTEMPT WIDE LEFT
    SAN DIEGO 22
    KANSAS CITY 21 0:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Dec 14 4:31 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    VINCENT JACKSON 10 YD PASS FROM PHILIP RIVERS
    (TWO-POINT CONVERSION FAILED)
    SAN DIEGO 22
    KANSAS CITY 21 0:36 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Chargers 22, Chiefs 21  4th - 0:36Dec 14 4:28 PM
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    Chargers 16, Chiefs 21  4th - 1:11Dec 14 4:25 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    MALCOM FLOYD 4 YD PASS FROM PHILIP RIVERS
    (TWO-POINT CONVERSION FAILED)
    SAN DIEGO 16
    KANSAS CITY 21 1:13 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Chargers 16, Chiefs 21  4th - 1:13Dec 14 4:17 PM
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    Chargers 16, Chiefs 21  4th - 1:13Dec 14 4:17 PM
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    Chargers 10, Chiefs 21  4th - 2:00Dec 14 4:14 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 0 3 7 10
    KANSAS CITY 7 7 7 21 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: KAN - TD, TONY GONZALEZ 4 YD PASS FROM LARRY
    JOHNSON (CONNOR BARTH KICK), 10:01.
    Drive: 15 plays, 96 yards in 7:50.
    Key plays: Thigpen 5-yard pass to
    Bowe on 3rd-and-3 to Kansas City


    Dec 14 3:31 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    LADAINIAN TOMLINSON 6 YD RUN
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 10
    KANSAS CITY 21 8:29 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Chargers 10, Chiefs 21  3rd - 8:29Dec 14 3:11 PM


  • NFL
    TD KAN
    TYLER THIGPEN 3 YD RUN
    (CONNOR BARTH KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 3
    KANSAS CITY 21 12:35 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Chargers 3, Chiefs 21  3rd - 12:35Dec 14 2:52 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 0 3 3
    KANSAS CITY 7 7 14 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: KAN - TD, TONY GONZALEZ 4 YD PASS FROM LARRY
    JOHNSON (CONNOR BARTH KICK), 10:01.
    Drive: 15 plays, 96 yards in 7:50.
    Key plays: Thigpen 5-yard pass to
    Bowe on 3rd-and-3 to Kansas City
    11;

    Dec 14 2:29 PM
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    Chargers 3, Chiefs 14  HalfDec 14 2:29 PM


  • NFL
    FG SDG
    NATE KAEDING 32 YD
    SAN DIEGO 3
    KANSAS CITY 14 0:11 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Chargers 3, Chiefs 14  2nd - 0:11Dec 14 2:27 PM


  • NFL
    TD KAN
    DWAYNE BOWE 1 YD PASS FROM TYLER THIGPEN
    (CONNOR BARTH KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 0
    KANSAS CITY 14 2:53 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Chargers 0, Chiefs 14  2nd - 2:53Dec 14 2:13 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN DIEGO 0 0
    KANSAS CITY 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: KAN - TD, TONY GONZALEZ 4 YD PASS FROM LARRY
    JOHNSON (CONNOR BARTH KICK), 10:01.
    Drive: 15 plays, 96 yards in 7:50.
    Key plays: Thigpen 5-yard pass to
    Bowe on 3rd-and-3 to Kansas City


    Dec 14 1:44 PM


  • NFL
    TD KAN
    TONY GONZALEZ 4 YD PASS FROM LARRY JOHNSON
    (CONNOR BARTH KICK)
    SAN DIEGO 0
    KANSAS CITY 7 4:59 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Chargers 0, Chiefs 7  1st - 4:59Dec 14 1:28 PM
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