Playing from behind is never easy, but the San Diego Chargers did their best to make it interesting Sunday, overcoming a 21-10 second half deficit and in the end hanging on for a key 22-21 win over the Chiefs in Kansas City. The Chargers with the win improve to 6-8. While a loss would have for sure ended any playoff hopes, they still have a shot after the victory for hopes for a postseason birth.
The game-winning score came with just 0:36 left, as Philip Rivers, who threw for 346 yards, hit Vincent Jackson with a 10-yard score to turn a 21-16 deficit into a 22-21 lead. The Chargers then had to hold their breath as Conner Barth missed a 50-yard field goal on the final play of the game that would have won it for the now 2-12 Chiefs.
Rivers had to air it out a lot, going 34-for-48 for 346 yards with two TD’s and one pick. The Chargers piled up 394 yards, but playing from behind almost all day will do that. The run game for the Chargers was in stall mode all day, as they had just 68 yards on 19 carries for a 3.6 yards per carry average.
The Chiefs built leads of 14-0 and 21-3, but could not put the Chargers away as Rivers was able to rally the troops. Tyler Thigpen ran for a score and threw for another, and running back Larry Johnson threw a TD to Tony Gonzalez to get the Chiefs going early. Thigpen was 19-for-28 for 171 yards with one TD and a pick.
The Chargers were down 21-10 when they were able to get in the end zone as Rivers led San Diego on an 89-yard drive, hitting Malcolm Floyd with a 4-yard scoring pass with 1:13 left, making it 21-16. After the two-point conversion pass failed, the ensuing onside kick bounced off the chest of KC’s Dwayne Bowe, and Kassim Osgood fell on the ball for San Diego at the Chargers 39.
Rivers then pulled off the comeback with a TD to Jackson down the middle for the go-ahead score with 36 ticks left. The Chiefs had their last shot, but were not able to convert on the Barth field goal that would have won it.
The Chargers will have another tough road test next week as they travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Bucs. The Chiefs will stay at Arrowhead as they play their home finale against the Dolphins.