Final

Chargers 22

(8-7, 3-5 away)

Chiefs 24

(8-7, 6-2 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, December 22, 2002

 

1 2 3 4 T
SD 3 3 9 722
KC 7 7 7 324

Late field goal elevates Chiefs

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

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen
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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

THIRD QUARTERSDKC
kcTD11:09Touchdown
Drive info: 1 plays, 97 yds, 0:00
620
kc10:56
Drive info: 1 plays, 97 yds, 0:00
621
sdTD8:05Touchdown
Drive info: 7 plays, 70 yds, 2:35
1221
FIRST QUARTERSDKC
sdFG2:25Steve Christie 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 60 yds, 2:00
37
SECOND QUARTERSDKC
sdFG0:24Steve Christie 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 35 yds, 0:46
614
THIRD QUARTERSDKC
sdFG3:10Steve Christie 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 65 yds, 0:55
1521
FOURTH QUARTERSDKC
sdTD11:30Touchdown
Drive info: 9 plays, 47 yds, 13:40
2121
sd10:58
Drive info: 9 plays, 47 yds, 13:40
2221
SECOND QUARTERSDKC
kcTD1:25Touchdown
Drive info: 13 plays, 88 yds, 5:55
313
kc1:15
Drive info: 13 plays, 88 yds, 5:55
314
FIRST QUARTERSDKC
kcTD5:16Touchdown
Drive info: 17 plays, 66 yds, 8:36
06
FOURTH QUARTERSDKC
kcFG1:13Michael Husted 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 13 plays, 77 yds, 3:30
2224
FIRST QUARTERSDKC
kc5:11
Drive info: 17 plays, 66 yds, 8:36
07