Chargers Play Again Thursday


From Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego

There will not be a lot of time for the Chargers to celebrate their victory over the Chiefs.

They’ve got the Thursday night game coming up, hosting San Francisco just four days after their 31-0 blast of the Chiefs that kept alive their post-season hopes for another year.

“Our coaches have been preparing for the last couple days,” said Chargers head man Norv Turner. “It’s fortunate that we don’t travel. It’s nice to be at home.”

And it’s nice to still have something to play for. The Chargers are now 7-6 and they remain alive in the AFC playoffs.

“We never felt like we were out of it,” said Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. “We knew what we had coming up this week and we know what’s ahead. We can only control what we can control and that’s our next game against the 49ers. We want to look up on January 2 and know we’ve did all we could do.”

It’s helpful to the Chargers chances since they’ve finally got WR Vincent Jackson on the field and relatively healthy. Jackson caught two passes for 29 yards, his first catches of the season. Having him back was a spark for the San Diego offense, especially with TE Antonio Gates sidelined due to a foot injury.

“It was good to get him through a whole game and get him going again,” said Rivers.

The Chargers had everything going on Sunday and that impressed their quarterback.

“Everybody chipped in,” said Rivers. “The guys up front were awesome. I can’t say enough about the defense, they were unbelievable. Anytime you have no third down conversions, you’re not going to lose when they play that way regardless of what we do.”

THE LAST TIME THE CHIEFS WERE SHUTOUT AND OTHER BAD STATS REPORT

The ugliest thing about what went down for the Chiefs came on offense. The last time they were shutout was 39 games ago, when they lost 34-0 to Carolina in the 2008 season.

With 67 net offensive yards, that’s the second lowest total in team history. Only a November 1963 game against Oakland produced fewer yards. That time it was 62 yards. It’s only the third time in 51 seasons where the Chiefs did not manage at least 100 yards in offense.

The 19 net yards passing was the fifth lowest total in team history. It’s the lowest total since the 1979 season when the Chiefs had 15 yards against Seattle.

INJURY REPORT

For the Chiefs, both CB Javier Arenas and WR/RB Dexter McCluster were out of the action in the second half. Arenas left the field at one point, but came back with his right ankle heavily taped. He did not return to the game. McCluster got rocked on a helmet-to-helmet hit by former Chiefs TE Kris Wilson and did not return.

During the game, FS Jon McGraw left the field for awhile with what appeared to be a neck injury. He did return.

The Chargers actually release a post-game injury report – imagine that! – and they listed DE Jacques Cesaire (knee), LB Brandon Siler (ribs), LT Marcus McNeill (knee) and WR Malcom Floyd (shoulder).

STADIUM REPORT

The Chargers announced paid attendance at 66,780 and unlike the numbers the Chiefs release for the crowd at Arrowhead Stadium this was a real number of butts in the seats. There were very few empty seats, which was remarkable given the beautiful weather and the other options there are in San Diego. Plus, the game was on local television.

San Diego is always one of the few places where the crowd can be heard singing along with the national anthem; it must be the military presence that is so much a part of San Diego. A good number of Chiefs fans were in the stands, and they could be heard with the “home of the Chiefs” over the Chargers crowd.

It was a noisy environment but not so much that the Chiefs had trouble handling the situation on offense. They did not have a false start penalty.

SPECIAL TEAMS REPORT

This was a mixed bag on the day for the Chiefs. They needed a push from the kicking game and did not get it from returns.

KICKOFFS – Just one for Ryan Succop and he nailed it, sending the opening kickoff of the second half six yards deep in the end zone. San Diego’s Darren Sproles brought the kick out for 27 yards, but that put the ball only on the Chiefs 21-yard line.

PUNTS – Dustin Colquitt was a busy guy, booting the ball eight times in the game. Overall, he averaged 45.6 yards, with a 61-yard long punt. He also put three punts inside the 20-yard line. His punts went for 48, 49, 49, 35, 61, 37, 35 and 51 yards. His worst kick was the 35-yarder in the fourth quarter.

COVERAGE – The kickoff team got on the field once, giving up a 27-yard return to Sproles. On punt returns, Antoine Cason had five for 76 yards, a 15.2-yard average with a long return of 42 yards. Press box stats had WR Verran Tucker with four tackles. Others who got credit for coverage in the kicking game were LB Demorrio Williams, LS Thomas Gafford and LB Andy Studebaker.

RETURNS – Nothing happening for the Chiefs. WR/RB Dexter McCluster handled most of the returns until he got rocked on one kickoff and then Tucker stepped in and handle the duties. McCluster had three kick returns for an average of 20.7 with a long return of 28 yards. Tucker had two returns for a 20-yard average. McCluster had one punt return for 11 yards.

ZEBRA REPORT

The crew led by Walt Anderson came into the game as one of the least active groups in the league when it comes to throwing the yellow hanky. They lived up to that reputation, as they walked off only eight penalties for 62 yards in the game.

They got the Chiefs for just a pair of penalties both in the second half:

  1. Offense, holding, RT Barry Richardson, minus-10 yards.
  2. Offense, illegal formation, Richardson, minus-5 yards.

One other flag was thrown on DB Travis Daniels for defensive holding, but that call was declined because the receiver he was holding, Kelley Washington caught the pass for a 20-yard gain.

Todd Haley challenged one call in the second half, when he disputed where punt returner Antoine Cason went out of bounds. But Anderson did not change the call.

PERSONNEL REPORT

With QB Brodie Croyle starting and QB Tyler Palko getting into the game in the fourth quarter, they became the 55th and 56th players to appear in a regular-season game.

There were no surprises among the inactive players for the Chiefs, as QB Matt Cassel was the only player who was on the list because of his health. Joining him were DB Donald Washington, CB Mike Richardson, FB Tim Castille, LB Corey Mays, LB Charlie Anderson, C Rudy Niswanger and DT Anthony Toribio.

Jon McGraw started the game at free safety, but Kendrick Lewis played most of the game there.

Over on the Chargers side, they did not have starting TE Antonio Gates, starting WR Patrick Crayton, starting RG Louis Vasquez and DL Travis Johnson, SS Darrell Stuckey, S Tyrone Carter, RB Curtis Brinkley and they listed WR Legedu Naanee as their inactive third quarterback. He did not play.

Press box statistics said G Jon Asamoah was the only Chiefs player who did not play. That was due largely to the fact the Chiefs did not have a FG or PAT attempt – Asamoah serves as the left tackle on that protection unit.

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