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Late field goal elevates Chiefs

12/22/2002

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A handful of former backups and a
kickoff specialist helped the Kansas City Chiefs pull out a
last-minute win.

Question on the Chargers: Why was Marty unable to have the second-half success that he had with the 'Skins last year?
The latter part of the Chargers' schedule was brutal, and they need some personnel upgrades. As always, players make a huge difference. The Chargers can't throw the ball 30-40 times and win. Drew Brees isn't that type of QB yet. So opposing defenses tried to force San Diego to throw by focusing on stopping RB LaDainian Tomlinson.

Question on the Chiefs: Should we expect WR Marc Boerigter to be a bigger part of the offense next season?
Not necessarily. He had a great game, but you don't base a decision about whether a guy is your go-to receiver on one or two games. The Chiefs' offense will still go through Priest Holmes. If Boerigter can produce like this when Holmes is in the lineup, that would be a great boost for the Chiefs. When Holmes is out (like today), there are lots more opportunities for others.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

Four key players in the Chiefs' 24-22 victory over the San Diego
Chargers on Sunday were backups two weeks ago. Two made their first
starts Sunday.

And the final hero hadn't kicked a field goal in more than two
years.

Michael Husted, a kickoff specialist who became Kansas City's
placekicker this week when Morten Andersen went out with a nagging
knee injury, kicked a 38-yard field goal with 1:08 left to give
Kansas City (8-7) the win.

The field goal was Husted's first since Oct. 7, 2000, when he
was with the Washington Redskins.

"The thing is not to have too much going on in your mind,''
Husted said. "That's when the preparation of the night before, the
week before -- in my case, the year and a half before -- comes into
play.''

Playing without Pro Bowl running back Priest Holmes, the Chiefs
clinched their first non-losing season in three years and handed
San Diego its third straight loss. The Chargers, in their first
season under Marty Schottenheimer, also fell to 8-7 after starting
the season 6-1.

"The bottom line is that right now we aren't playing well
enough to win,'' said Schottenheimer, whose 10-year tenure in
Kansas City ended with his resignation after the 1998 season. "I
think that's an obvious statement.''

Two of the Chiefs' scoring drives, including the game-winner,
started at or inside their own 3-yard line. The first time, Trent
Green connected with Marc Boerigter -- who only became a starter two
weeks ago -- on a 99-yard touchdown pass that tied the NFL record
for longest completion.

Michael Cloud's dive on fourth-and-1 kept the winning drive
going, giving Kansas City a first down at the Chargers 36 with 2:18
left. Omar Easy's 11-yard catch on the next play put the ball at
the 25.

Three more plays netted only 5 yards before Husted's kick.

Cloud started in place of Holmes, who has a hip injury.

Holmes entered the day with 1,615 yards rushing, second in the
league behind Miami's Ricky Williams. The Chiefs have not ruled out
his return in the regular-season finale at Oakland.

Easy, a rookie, replaced fullback Tony Richardson (shoulder) and
caught his first NFL touchdown pass, a 6-yarder from Green. Cloud
was held to 19 yards on 16 carries, but at least one teammate
remembered his fourth-down run on the winning drive.

"Mike put his head down and got the necessary yardage,''
defensive end Eric Hicks said. "Omar caught a big pass. Mike
Husted was signed to back up our Hall of Fame kicker, and he sure
did it.

"That's the American dream. It's part of the NFL dream -- guys
who come in from nowhere and step up and play big.''

Drew Brees, who led San Diego's comeback with two second-half
touchdown passes, scrambled 15 yards for a first down at midfield
with 43 seconds left.

Rookie Shaunard Harts -- starting only his second game of the
year -- and Lew Bush forced a fumble after Reche Caldwell's 5-yard
catch two plays later, and Gary Stills recovered for Kansas City.

Boerigter's 99-yard score put the Chiefs up 21-6. It was the
ninth 99-yard pass in league history and the first since Sept. 11,
1995, when Green Bay's Brett Favre hooked up with Robert Brooks in
a 27-24 win over Chicago.

Brees, who had thrown four interceptions and no TD passes in his
four previous games, was 5-for-5 for 52 yards on the Chargers' next
drive. His 9-yard touchdown pass to Tim Dwight made it 21-12 after
a failed 2-point conversion.

Brees finished 26-for-40 for 242 yards.

Steve Christie's third field goal of the game, a 24-yarder, made
it 21-15 late in the third quarter, and Brees found Fred McCrary
for a 3-yard TD pass that put the Chargers up 22-21 with just under
11 minutes left in the game.

Green was 23-for-36 for 337 yards and three touchdown passes,
two of them to Boerigter, who finished with seven catches for 144
yards.

The Chargers finished with 383 yards, including LaDainian Tomlinson's 131 yards on 24 carries.

Game notes
LB Junior Seau tied Russ Washington's team record with his
200th game played for the Chargers. ... Chiefs safety Greg Wesley
injured his hamstring on the 3-yard touchdown pass to McCrary and
did not return. ... It was the 100th consecutive sellout at
Arrowhead Stadium, dating to the opener in 1990. ... With 466
points, the Chiefs broke their team record of 442 set in 1965. ...
Tomlinson's 131 yards rushing boosted his season total to 1,616.
His seventh 100-yard game tied Don Wood's 28-year-old team record.