NFL Nation: Tampa Bay Buccaners
A look at the Chargers' 31-13 AFC West wipeout of the Chiefs:
What it means: The Chargers showed they can hammer a bad team, and the Chiefs showed there is no reason to think they aren’t the 32nd-best team in the NFL. The Chargers now are 4-4 and have ended a three-game losing streak. The Chiefs are 1-7, and moved a step closer to the No. 1 overall draft pick and having to decide between Matt Barkley and Geno Smith.
Winning for Norv: The chances were very strong that the Chargers would fire coach Norv Turner had the team lost its fourth straight game and fallen to 3-5, with 10 days before its next game. It would have been a perfect time to make a move. But Turner’s team loves him, and it played hard for him. Turner might be safe for the rest of the season now unless things unravel badly again. The Chargers are very much in the AFC playoff hunt and will be tied for first place if the 4-3 Broncos lose at Cincinnati. Give credit to Turner for keeping his team focused and credit to the Chargers for keeping their coach employed.
Rivers almost perfect, but still maddening: San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers was in a slump for the previous 10 quarters. But he was brilliant Thursday night. He was 18-of-20 for 220 yards and two touchdowns with a depleted receiving crew. But he threw a terrible interception in the end zone at the end of the first half. It’s those plays that Rivers has to eliminate from his game. He still is a top quarterback, but he makes too many mistakes.
Bad streaks continue for Chiefs: The Chiefs committed four turnovers and now have 29 in half a season. They had 29 all last season. It’s the highest turnover total through eight games in the NFL in 15 years. Kansas City still has not led in a game in regulation all season. The Chiefs haven’t scored a touchdown on their opening drive in 25 straight games. Folks, this stuff is historically bad.
Cassel not that bad: Yes, Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel committed two turnovers that turned into two defensive touchdowns for San Diego in the fourth quarter. But Cassel wasn’t that bad. He had his moments. Still, I’m sure the Chiefs will go back to Brady Quinn when he is cleared from a concussion. Cassel just doesn’t have the confidence of this team, it seems.
Charles not a factor: Against Oakland on Sunday, Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles had just five carries. On Thursday night, he had 12 carries for 39 yards, and that's a big reason the Chiefs couldn’t stay close. They are wasting a fine player.
Chargers run well: The Chargers’ run offense really helped. It provided a dimension that had been missing all season. San Diego had 123 rushing yards on 26 carries, and Ryan Mathews had 67 yards on 13 totes. This type of running effort must continue in order to help the Chargers’ passing game.
Berry makes strides: Kansas City safety Eric Berry had a solid game, and he is improving after missing nearly all of last season with a torn ACL.
Chargers strike in fourth quarter: The Chargers didn’t score in the fourth quarter in October. On the first day of November, San Diego scored 21 points in the quarter.
What’s next: The Chargers play at Tampa Bay in a matchup with receiver Vincent Jackson, who departed San Diego in free agency in March. In another reunion game, Kansas City meets Pittsburgh and former coach Todd Haley on Nov. 12 on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” Yes, another prime-time game for America’s worst professional football team.
Quinn not the answer: Many Chiefs fans got their wish and saw Brady Quinn start at quarterback. His results were no better than what Matt Cassel's. Quinn three two bad interceptions (one was returned for a score). I think Cassel will get the chance to start again when he is healthy.
Offensive woes continue: The Chiefs haven’t scored a touchdown on their first drive of the game dating back to the start of last season. Kansas City’s offense hasn’t scored a touchdown in the past two games. The Chiefs have not had a lead during any game. Their one win came in overtime at New Orleans.
Charles misses mark: Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles had 40 yards on 12 carries. He now had 591 yards in six games. He was vying to join Priest Holmes (2004) to be the second player in team history to have 600 yards on the ground through six games.
What’s next: The Chiefs stumble into the bye. They host Oakland in two weeks in the first game at Arrowhead Stadium since right tackle Eric Winston berated some fans for cheering when Cassel went down. It caused a national firestorm and prompted coach Romeo Crennel and owner Clark Hunt to praise the team’s fan base. It could be an interesting day at Arrowhead.
Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
OK, let's get this out of the way. Here's one job Mike Shanahan won't be taking: The Oakland Raiders.
Other than Shanahan's former team, all other bets are on.
If Shanahan decides he wants to coach in 2009, he will have his choice of jobs. But any job Shanahan takes probably will have to come with the same power he enjoyed in Denver, where he spent the past 14 years.
Many coaches who leave an organization after a long period take time off. Shanahan could decide to go that route. He has a home in Mexico and he could enjoy a year of golf.
Shanahan would be as attractive to teams in a year or two as he is now.
Still, Shanahan strikes me as a coach who would like to get right back in the game. And that was the indication Tuesday evening from people who know him.
Among the jobs that could interest Shanahan are Cleveland, the New York Jets and Kansas City. Shanahan probably would get the necessary power in all three of those spots.
There are a couple of jobs that, if they became available, probably would entice Shanahan. Both Dallas and Tampa Bay could be fits, if coaching changes were made. Dallas could be intriguing because Shanahan and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones have a good relationship and Shanahan has expressed his respect for Jones on numerous occasions.
Shanahan tried to get Terrell Owens to Denver, so he wouldn't be averse to working with the mercurial wide receiver. Also, he tried to sign quarterback Tony Romo -- Shanahan and Romo were quarterbacks at Eastern Illinois a generation apart -- as a college free agent. However, Wade Phillips would have to be fired before any Shanahan-to-Dallas talks could materialize.
Meanwhile, it is being reported that Shanahan's refusal to fire defensive coordinator Bob Slowik led to Denver owner Pat Bowlen firing him Tuesday afternoon. More details could come out Wednesday when both Bowlen and Shanahan address the media.
Final Atlanta 24 Jacksonville 14 Final Detroit 23 Buffalo 0 Final Indianapolis 7 Cincinnati 35 Final New York 7 Philadelphia 37 Final St. Louis 13 Miami 14 Final Kansas City 14 Green Bay 34 Final Carolina 10 Pittsburgh 0 Final New England 13 New York 16 Final Washington 24 Tampa Bay 10 Final Baltimore 22 New Orleans 13 Final Chicago 13 Cleveland 33 Final San Francisco 40 Houston 13 Final Minnesota 19 Tennessee 3 Final Denver 27 Dallas 3 Final Arizona 9 San Diego 12 Final Seattle 31 Oakland 41