The struggling Chiefs headed out west Sunday to take on one of their rivals in the Chargers, and while they put up a much bigger fight than weeks one and two, they were no match as they fell 20-17 on a late Matt Cassel pick.
Ryan Mathews ran for 98 yards and a pair of touchdowns, as the Chargers moved to 2-1 on the season, dropping the Chiefs to 0-3.
Kansas City had possession in San Diego territory with under two minutes remaining, but Eric Weddle intercepted Cassel’s last chance pass to seal the win for the Chargers.
Cassel threw for 176 yards and two touchdowns. With Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles out for the season, the Chiefs turned to Thomas Jones, who gained just 31 yards on 14 carries. Dexter McCluster was more effective, gaining 45 yards on nine carries.
The Chiefs, last in the NFL in passing the first two weeks, were scoreless the first half despite interception returns of 50 and 43 yards off San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers. That was because Kansas City had no first downs and just 34 yards of total offense in the first two quarters (13 passing by Cassel and 21 rushing).
Trailing 10-0 at the half, the Chiefs finally got a first down on their opening series of the third quarter. And Cassel started connecting on a drive that ended with his 4-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe.
With 4:52 left to play, Casel’s 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Leonard Pope cut the Chargers lead to 20-17. The score was set up by Casel’s 43-yard completion to wide receiver Steve Breaston to the 1-yard line.
Philip Rivers completed 24-of-38 passes for 266 yards and a pair of interceptions for San Diego, which won the division from 2006-09 before Kansas City went 10-6 to grab the title last season, something that seems years away after today’s setback in San Diego.