Chiefs Fail In All Areas While Losing 31-0

From Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego

The San Diego Chargers are the four-time defending division champions in the AFC West. The Chiefs have won one division title in the previous 12 seasons.

On a sun-splashed Sunday afternoon in southern California they showed us how that history came to be written.

Chargers 31, Chiefs 0.

That point total pretty much defined what the Chiefs got done in Game No. 13 of the season. Nothing.

“It was not close,” Chiefs head coach Todd Haley said in what might have been the day’s biggest understatement.” I said coming into this that they were a very good team and they showed it today. We obviously did not do enough to win in too many areas to really talk about.”

Like offense, defense, special teams and coaching. The Chiefs failed in every area.

“There wasn’t one thing that lost this game,” said LG Brian Waters. “There wasn’t one thing we did to win this game. Everything was bad. Nothing got done.”


It was an afternoon with so much on the line for both teams, but it was only the Chargers that responded. Entering the game at 6-6, they were one more loss away from being cast out of any hope of making the post season. They decided they were not going to go out in this 2010 season without a fight. A week after being embarrassed at home by the Raiders, the Chargers came out and football punched the Chiefs in the mouth. It was a major beat down, the type that leaves a nasty bruise on the body, but especially on the psyche.

“It was a team loss and the guys get that and understand that,” said Haley. “It was not fun in any way shape or form. We needed the whole team to step up and play our best game, and we didn’t come close to doing that.”

Without their offensive leader QB Matt Cassel, the Chiefs got nothing done when they had the ball. They could not at any point put together a consistent running game, and before long they were so far behind the only hope they had was throwing the ball. That provided no help whatsoever.

Would things have been different with Cassel in the huddle?

“Not at all,” said Waters. “The problem wasn’t Brodie or the quarterback position. The problem was all of us.”

There’s no question that the problem was an offense that could not stay on the field; the Chargers ended up with a time of possession advantage of 20 minutes, 20 seconds. With the ball so much, QB Philip Rivers drove them up and down the field, throwing a pair of touchdown passes and directing the offense to 426 yards. He hooked up twice with WR Malcom Floyd for scores and RBs Mike Tolbert and Ryan Mathews punched in touchdowns on the ground.

The San Diego domination was overwhelming in almost every category on the stat sheet:

  • Offensive yards: Chargers 426, Chiefs 67.
  • Rushing yards: Chargers 207, Chiefs 48.
  • Net passing yards: Chargers 219, Chiefs 19.
  • First downs: Chargers 25, Chiefs 5.
  • Sacks allowed: Chargers 2, Chiefs 4.
  • Offensive plays: Chargers 69, Chiefs 41.
  • Average gain per play: Chargers 6.2 yards, Chiefs 1.6 yards.
  • Third down conversions: Chargers 11 of 15 for 73 percent, Chiefs zero of 11, 0 percent.
  • Time of possession: Chargers 40:10, Chiefs 19:50.
  • Touchdowns: Chargers 4, Chiefs 0.

The only thing the Chiefs won was the turnover battle, going plus-two thanks to an Eric Berry interception and a Tamba Hali sack and forced fumble. Those were the defensive highlights. Shoot, those were the Chiefs highlights for the game.

It certainly didn’t come on the offense, where the longest play of the day for the Chiefs was a 16-yard pass from Croyle to Terrance Copper. RB Jamaal Charles had 12 touches for a total of 49 yards. WR Dwayne Bowe had one catch for three yards. Croyle’s passer rating was 48.9.

About the only good thing the offense did all day was not turn the ball over. But it was the inability to do something with those two gifts from the defense in the third quarter that sunk any chance the Chiefs had of getting back in the game. After Berry’s interception, they went three plays and out. After Hali’s sack and forced fumble, they went three plays and out.

“The defense hung in there and tried to make a couple plays in the second half and they did,” said Haley. “W were just unable to move the football after those turnovers. That would have been our chance to get back into the game.”

By then it was probably already too late because of what went down in the first 30 minutes of play. The first half was an embarrassment for the Chiefs defense that got shoved all over the field by San Diego, in both the running and passing games. The Chargers offense had four possessions in the half and scored touchdowns on three of them.

What the Chargers did so well was run the ball with a three-back attack of Mathews-Tolbert-Sproles. That gave Rivers just enough opportunity and time to throw the ball without having to worry about a pass rush. He went back to pass 24 times, scrambled out of the pocket twice and eventually was sacked twice.

All this allowed San Diego to dominate the ball in the first half, especially in putting together the three touchdown drives:

  • They went 10 plays, 67 yards and held the ball for 6 minutes, 10 seconds before Rivers hooked up with Floyd for the first of their TD plays. This one was from 17 yards away and Floyd beat ZCB Brandon Flowers in the end zone for the score.
  • On their third possession, the Chargers went nine plays, 69 yards in 5:04 before Tolbert scored on an 18-yard run off the left side. OLB Mike Vrabel could not provide containment on the outside and Tolbert ran into the end zone untouched. The big play on the possession was a 19-yard completion on 3rd-and-9 from Rivers to Jackson.
  • The Chargers fourth possession produced another touchdown in a nine-play, 81-yard drive that took just less than four minutes. It was Rivers and Floyd again connecting, this time on a nine-yard pass in the end zone. Floyd beat CB Javier Arenas for the score.

That’s 21-0 on the scoreboard and total domination on the field. The Chiefs offense was unable to produce anything, as they never moved beyond their own 46-yard line and in their first four possessions they went five plays and out, three plays and out, three plays and out, six plays and out. In those four possessions they had a grand total of three first downs and did not reach Chargers territory.

In the second half, the Chargers tagged on a 48-yard field goal from K Nate Kaeding and a 15-yard TD run by Matthews for the 31-0 outcome that went down in just two hours and 45 minutes.

Or about two hours and 44 minutes more than the Chiefs could handle.

“It had nothing to do with intensity,” said RB Thomas Jones. “It had nothing to do with us being ready. They made some plays early in the game and we didn’t respond.”

Now that’s the understatement of the afternoon.

3 Responses to “Chiefs Fail In All Areas While Losing 31-0”

  • December 12, 2010  - Edward says:

    Yea Chiefs o-line got man-handled today. This speaks volumes to how we need to get younger on the o-line. With so much invested on the defense in the last few drafts the o-line needs to be retooled. Anyways we have to move on from this game fast and get focused on beating the Rams.

  • December 12, 2010  - Michael says:

    T.Jones can say it had nothing to do with intensity or not being ready all he wants, but clearly that’s not the truth. The Chiefs mailed this one in; no intensity or sense of urgency at all, and they looked anything but ready. With a two game lead in the divsion and a built-in excuse for losing with Cassel out, many of the players looked like they were just going through the motions. The coaching staff layed an egg on this one, too. Crennel and Weiss had nothing for the Chargers, and adjusted to nothing. Easily the worst game of the year for the Chiefs, even worse than the blowout in Denver. This young team didn’t know how to handle itslef. The players and coaches best figure it out quick; the season isn’t over and they have much left to accomplish.

  • December 13, 2010  - Chiefs Go Goose Egg In San Diego | Chiefs Football at says:

    [...] GAME STORY: Failure in all areas for Chiefs. [...]

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