Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Chiefs 21, Chargers 14
By Bill Williamson
KANSAS CITY -- Breaking down the Chiefs' victory, which was played in wet and windy conditions:
What It means: It may be too early to say the Chiefs are going to stick around all season, but they are clearly much improved. This was a big night in all three phases of the game for the Chiefs.
For San Diego, the four-time defending division champion, the loss hurts. The Chargers' offense stalled in bad weather for much of the night and it died at the 6-yard line in the final seconds of the game. The Chargers clearly still have a lot of work to do.
Tomorrow's Talker: The Chiefs have a terrific return game. Second-round picks Dexter McCluster and Javier Arenas may soon make folks forget the great Dante Hall years. Both players had big returns, highlighted by McCluster's team-record 94-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Big Revelation: The San Diego offense is not beyond being stymied. Monday night, it was the weather that took San Diego’s offense out of the game. Give Kansas City’s young and energized defense credit. It made plays and it was very active.
But San Diego was clearly frustrated by the driving rain and wind storm. The Chargers didn’t have a first down in the second quarter and they went 30:14 with just one first down. The team misses holdouts Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill, but the weather was San Diego’s real enemy for much of Monday night. San Diego’s offense was much better before and after the rain. Much of the first and fourth quarters were rain free.
Trending: The Chiefs need to get Jamaal Charles the ball more. He is a game breaker. His 56-yard run for a touchdown in the first quarter was a thing of beauty. He made two big-league cuts on the play. He had 92 yards on 11 carries. Starter Thomas Jones had 39 yards on 11 carries. I don’t care who starts, but Charles needs to carry the ball 20 times a game or more.
What’s Next: San Diego opens its home slate against Jacksonville in a game that it is having difficulty selling out. Kansas City goes to Cleveland in what is a winnable game for the Chiefs.