The Kansas City Chiefs lost to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, 20-17, and looked ugly at times doing it. The offense was inconsistent, the defense gave up big plays and special teams cost the Chiefs three points. But there they were, with about a minute left, driving to tie or win the game. And then...yeah, we all know what happened.
This is a difficult game to grade for me because the Chiefs weren't very pretty offensively but they did score 17 points. QB Philip Rivers and Co. were good on third down and moved the ball well but the Chiefs only gave up 20 points. The special teams had a big return to set up the first touchdown but they also missed a field goal.
There are a lot of "buts" in these grades. Overall, I'd give them a C+/B-. Here's what I'm thinking on the rest of the Chiefs grades (and somehow my grades are higher than I thought they would be)....
If this were based on just the first half, I would fail them and kick them outta school. That's how bad the first half was. But in the second, even though it was still an ugly offense, the Chiefs were able to put up 17 points. QB Matt Cassel had a couple of touchdown throws and WR Dwayne Bowe got involved on key third down conversions and even a touchdown. It's like the Chiefs offense was only productive when they absolutely had to be. One thing I did like is that they weren't turning it over which, if the defense is creating turnovers, will keep them in games. Unfortunately, Cassel's inexplicable pick became the first turnover and sealed the game.
The Chiefs defense looked competent against one of the best quarterbacks and offenses in the league. I was really happy with the way they played picking off two passes -- and adding big returns onto those -- as well as forcing a couple of fumbles (which you hope they recover). They gave up more yards than I'd prefer, and the Chargers still moved the ball well, but they held San Diego to 20 points, which I would've been happy with if you told me that before the game. After 41 points and then 48 points the last two weeks, I think you have to be happy with the progress the defense made today. Romeo Crennel's defensive scheme hasn't all of a sudden been figured out.
Special Teams: B-
I wanted to give this a higher grade because the Chiefs took advantage of the Chargers sloppy special teams bringing the ball out past the 50 on a CB Javier Arenas kick return. Unfortunately, K Ryan Succop missed a field goal bringing down the grade of this unit. Chiefs coach Todd Haley backed Succop after the game, despite his third miss of the season.