Day-Old Fish Tacos From ‘Diego

From San Diego, California

Seldom does a statistic like third-down conversion tell the story of a football game.

But it did on Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium. The story of the Chargers 31-0 beat down of the Chiefs can be seen on third down:

  • Chargers converted 11 of 15 third down plays, a 73 percent success rate.
  • Chiefs were shutout, just like they were on the scoreboard, 0 for 11, for a 0 percent success rate.

“We couldn’t stay on the field and we couldn’t get them off the field,” said LG Brian Waters. “That led to everything.”

Everything as in long touchdown drives for the Chargers and nothing for the Chiefs. San Diego had only one of its nine possessions that was three plays and out. On the other hand, the Chiefs had 10 possessions and six of them were three plays and out.

That’s how you gain 25 first downs, while your opponent gets only five. That’s how a time of possession advantage of 20 minutes, 20 seconds is built.  

“When we’re getting first downs, keeping our defense fresh and then they’re getting three and outs, it’s quite a combination,” said Chargers QB Philip Rivers.

On their five scoring drives (four touchdowns and a FG), San Diego converted on nine third down plays. Those plays averaged 5.5 yards to move the sticks. The Chargers averaged 13.1 yards on those nine conversions.

Things were simply brutal when it came to third downs with the Chiefs. Here’s how the 11 plays broke down:

  1. 3rd-and-10, pass to WR Terrance Copper for minus-1 yard.
  2. 3rd-and-7, incomplete pass to Copper.
  3. 3rd-and-18, pass to TE Tony Moeaki for 8 yards.
  4. 3rd-and-8, pass to WR Dwayne Bowe for 3 yards.
  5. 3rd-and-5, Croyle sacked for minus-11 yards.
  6. 3rd-and-7, incomplete pass to Bowe.
  7. 3rd-and-16, incomplete pass to Bowe.
  8. 3rd-and-16, incomplete pass to RB Jamaal Charles.
  9. 3rd-and-15, Croyle sacked for 0 yards.
  10. 3rd-and-5, RB Jackie Battle run for 1 yard.
  11. 3rd-and-10, QB Tyler Palko takes a knee for minus-1 yard.

So, that’s an average third-down play of 10.6 yards. In those 11 plays, the Chiefs produced minus-1 yard in total.


When it comes to the Chiefs offense, WR Dwayne Bowe has all but disappeared as a weapon.

Against Denver, he did not catch a pass. On Sunday against the Chargers, he was QB Brodie Croyle’s target seven times. But he ended up catching just one pass, for three yards. He dropped a handful of chances and most of the game found coverage sticking to him like glue.

“He’s a talented, talented receiver,” said Chargers head coach Norv Turner. “I think he’s one of the better guys we see each year. Our corners are playing well. They made big plays. He dropped a ball and then obviously they don’t have the chemistry they have when (Matt) Cassel is there. Those two guys have developed into quite a combination. They’re very scary when they’re playing together.”


“We can’t lose and we know that. We can’t look to January because there’s no guarantee we’re going to get there. It’s playoff football from here on out.” Chargers QB Philip Rivers.

“Today we did not play any part of that game the way we wanted too. We didn’t coach it the way we wanted too. We didn’t play it the way we wanted to do. We got our backsides beat pretty good.” Chiefs head coach Todd Haley

“You can look at the maturity of the guys in this locker room. There are a lot of guys who have played a lot of football in pressures situations and understand what it takes to make a run and to go out there and win.” Chargers DE Luis Castillo.


The shutout victory was the first for the Chargers since the 2006 season when they beat Oakland 27-0. That game was the first start of Philip Rivers’ career … it was the second time the Chargers shutout the Chiefs. The other occasion came in the 1992 playoffs, when San Diego won 17-0 … those 67 yards that the Chiefs had on offense was the second lowest total by a Chargers opponent … the last time San Diego did not allow an opponent to convert a third down play in a game was October 1967 against Buffalo.

11 Responses to “Day-Old Fish Tacos From ‘Diego”

  • December 13, 2010  - David says:

    That was a sad example of Chiefs football. I’ve been so proud of this team the last 2 years because, win or lose, they never quit fighting. In yesterday’s game, I saw no fight from the opening gun until the close. I don’t know if it was having Matt, out or what it was, but they should be embarrassed.

  • December 13, 2010  - RW says:

    There’s an old bromide that goes something like:

    “Never as good as when you win, never as bad as when you lose”…

    Or, something like that. The Chiefs against SD yesterday? Something like that. I’m holding onto it.

  • December 13, 2010  - RW says:

    An aside: I know they’re West Coast chic and all that but Fish Tacos to me are an oxymoron. Tried them one time and nearly gaffed.

    To all FT lovers? I’m just sayin’.

  • December 13, 2010  - cupp says:

    Rw have the fish tacos at the canoe club in lake lanawana, and you’ll see what the fuss is about.

  • December 13, 2010  - el cid says:

    Getting back to the game. i am sure Haley will/would not comment but what was the game plan on offense? Run, run, pass after down 21 points does not make a lot of sense. It is almost like the coaches decided before the game started…..SD is better than us, we are going to lose no matter what, so let’s take the minimum chances to make a mistake. I know I am wrong, just cannot fathom the offensive plan. As for Crennel, his plan seem to be to play scared, do not let anything get behind you, and hope SD will make a mistake.

    At least we have St Louis to look forward to, unless Bradford picks us apart and Jackson runs like the three SD rbs.

  • December 13, 2010  - Flyboy26 says:

    El Cid, you said it right, concerning the offense and defense. Both Weis and Crennel made the Chiefs appear to play scared. In my 43 years of watching Chiefs football, I’ve not seen a worse display by the team. The Bronco loss was very embarrasing, but this one was worse.

    Hopefully, we’ll rebound in the next three games and give it all we’ve got.

  • December 13, 2010  - Nate says:

    What this clearly showed is that neither the coaches or the players believed that they could win on the road with Brodie Croyle as QB. This was clearly shown by the play calling and the “mail it in” performance by the players on both sides of the ball. None the less we have a one gaame lead lead with three winnable games left- 2 of them at home.

  • December 13, 2010  - el cid says:

    Local media is predicting the Chiefs go 2-1 the rest of the year and win the division as long as the loss is not Oakland. Myself, I just do not see the Chiefs winning again, especially if Cassel does not play again. Bowe is disappearing and the OL is not getting much done. Whatever is wrong with the defense, the entire NFL seems to know what it is.

    Hopefully we win in StL but as bad as the team looks, it will be more than a struggle. One media type said it the Chiefs loose the last three, and they may well do so, the fans will be upset until after the superbowl but then they will look back on the year as a good year. Not me of course, but the other fans.

  • December 13, 2010  - Milkman says:

    Maybe I’m older than most of Bob’s readers, but I remember a time when us Chief fans felt like the current Charger fans must feel every Sunday when playing an apponent from our division. Back in the day of Dawson, Bell, Taylor, Lanier, etc… when we had a game scheduled with the Broncos or Chargers ( not the Raiders- that was ALWAYS a dogfight ) We always knew there was a very good chance of an easy victory- and sometimes some downright slaughters. Yes, there were times they would beat us, but that would always be considered a fluke. How the tables have turned. The Chargers of this era must feel the same way about all 3 of their division rivals. But… this does not go on forever. I just hope I get to see it the way it used to be. You have to tip your hat to them. They continue to win in December with superior depth at all positions. Maybe we can say the same thing after Pioli and his scouting department have some time to put things together.

  • December 13, 2010  - dave says:

    When you think about it this was as bad a beating as I can ever remember particularly since the chiefs had no turnovers and the chargers had two. I bet you may not find another game that has been played by any NFL team not just the Chiefs where offensive production was this low in combination with a shutout when you were minus 2 for turnovers.

    I remember the Panthers game a few years ago as one of the really bad ones, but this one isin a league of its own.

  • December 13, 2010  - matt says:

    of all the game pics… you choose that one?

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