Game Recap: Chiefs Defeat Chargers, 33-3, Improve to 5-5 from The Mothership
Dontari Poesparked the Chiefs with a one-yard, rushing offensive touchdown as Kansas City defeated the San Diego Chargers, 33-3, from Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.
It was the fourth-consecutive victory for the Chiefs who improved to 5-5 on the season.
Chiefs vs. Chargers: 10 Observations from The Mothership
Alex Smithhad a big day for Chiefs offense
It was one of Alex Smith's better days as quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs.
He finished Sunday's game by completing 20 of 25 passes for 253 yards, and for the seventh straight game, he didn't throw an interception.
His 253 consecutive passes without an interception is a franchise record and the best mark for any quarterback in the NFL this season.
While the absence of a negative is hard to figure as a positive in and of itself, Smith's ability to move the offense down the field and put points on the board gave the Chiefs their fourth straight victory.
KCChiefs.com Videos: Chiefs vs. Chargers: Kansas City Highlights
Chiefs crush Chargers 33-3, get back to .500 mark from The Kansas City Star
The Chiefs had been through a lot over the last few months, including the loss of Jamaal Charles, their best offensive player, amid a miserable 1-5 start. But they never turned on each other, never gave up, and now here they stood, with a chance to do something special — to somehow pull to .500, win their fourth straight game and prove something to everyone who wrote them off long ago.
It was, Berry told them, the kind of moment he worked so hard this offseason to experience with his teammates once again after his diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma late last year.
"My thing was that I was going to do whatever I could in my power and in my control to get back to this point and to be back with my teammates," said Berry, who fast-tracked his cancer recovery this offseason. "I told them before the game that I put my life on the line to be here with you all, and you helped me get here to this point.
"To me, it's not a game. It's bigger than that."
Chiefs' win streak reaches 4 after hammering Chargers, 33-3 from Chiefs Digest
"I'm proud of the guys for the character that they have shown," coach Andy Reid told reporters after the game. "They played their hearts out and they'll continue to do that because that's how they are wired."
With Charles' season over because of a torn ACL knee injury, West moved into the starting lineup and provided production for the Chiefs offense. West started against San Diego, but saw little action in the second half because of a hamstring pull.
Knile Davis was a game-day inactive player for the second straight week, so that left only Ware, the 230-pound versatile back from LSU to step into the halfback role. All he did was run 11 times for 96 yards and two touchdowns and caught one pass for 5 yards. He set up one of those TDs with a 52-yard run, the longest running play of the season for the Chiefs.
"He's a powerful kid and he's shown us the caliber of what we saw in practice and the preseason," Reid said of Ware. "We were down a few different spots and guys stepped in and did a nice job."
Alex Smith's big-play passing game lifts Chiefs to easy victory from ESPN
The Chiefs needed to do their damage through the air against the Chargers, who largely took away the Kansas City running game.
The Chiefs did so mostly with the aid of big plays. Smith completed five passes of more than 20 yards, the longest going for 47 yards in the first quarter when the Chargers left running back Charcandrick West uncovered coming out of the backfield.
That play set up the Chiefs' first touchdown, which came not via a pass but the run. It came not from West nor any of their other offensive players but defensive tackle Dontari Poe.
Alex Smith rides into Chiefs record book with another game without an interception from The Kansas City Star
The play that set the record turned out to be the longest completion of the day. Smith spotted running back Charcandrick West floating out of the backfield into clear space over the middle and the catch-and-run turned into a 47-yard play, resembling the 80-yarder they paired up on in last weekend's victory at Denver.
That play that led to the Chiefs' first touchdown and broke the mark of consecutive passes without an interception set by Steve DeBerg in 1990. For the day, Smith ran the record to 253 passes by completing 20-of-25 passes. His passer rating of 108.8 was his third 100-plus rating this season and 23rd in his career. His teams are 22-1 in those games.
Alex Smith raises his game to new level in Chiefs' win over Chargers from ESPN
If this is the Smith the Chiefs (5-5) get every week, they'll be difficult to beat. The Chiefs already can count on a solid defense. They haven't committed a turnover in four games. They usually run the ball well.
Now you add a big-play passing game? Then the Chiefs will really be the team they envisioned when the regular season began.
"You're trying to be balanced every week," said Smith, who had 202 of his 253 passing yards in the first half, when the Chiefs built the foundation of the victory by forging a 12-3 lead. "Putting up [first-half] numbers like we did today, it was ridiculous. It's not always going to be like that. Every week is a different challenge. This next week presents a different one and we're going to have to be good on it."
Dontari Poe scores, Alex Smith sets record among highs in Chiefs' win from Chiefs Digest
The defense is a perfect complement to the running attack, which didn't skip a beat after running back Charcandrick West left in the third quarter with a hamstring injury. Spencer Ware stepped up and gouged the Chargers with 96 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.
The Chiefs' win sets up a big showdown with heavy playoff implications in Week 12 against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium. The Bills (5-4) play the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football.
Here are highs and lows from Sunday's game against the Chargers:
Houston's pick-6, Poe's TD run carry Chiefs over Chargers from ESPN
After Charcandrick West was stuffed from the 1-yard line on third down on the Chiefs' second possession, they went on fourth down, this time giving the ball to Poe. He got air and went in for his first NFL TD.
"I smelled the end zone, man," he said. "At that point you've got to do whatever you need to get in there. I saw a couple of bodies there and didn't want to take a chance. So I just did it man."
The Chiefs have had the play in their playbook for a few years.
Poe is the heaviest NFL player to score an offensive touchdown, according to STATS.
Dontari Poe vs. Justin Houston: The kind of argument winning teams have from The Kansas City Star
Houston rushed 8 or 9 yards up-field on Chargers right tackle Joe Barksdale before reading the screen pass, releasing from the block, and blanketing back Danny Woodhead coming across the field. Houston tipped the pass, then grabbed it, sprinting 17 yards down the left side for the touchdown.
When it was all over but the celebrating, Poe and Houston walked by each other in the cramped locker room here, each smiling and yelling over the other about who made the better play.
"Nobody else can do what I did!" Poe said to Houston.
Houston laughed. Later, someone asked about it.
"I told him I earned my touchdown," Houston said. "His touchdown was given."
Chiefs notes: Dontari Poe wasn't first defender to score a TD on offense from The Kansas City Star
Nose tackle Dontari Poe's 1-yard scoring plunge in the first quarter marked the eighth time a Chiefs defensive player scored an offensive touchdown. He's the first since cornerback Javier Arenas scored on a 7-yard run against the Raiders in 2011.
Tamba Hali up, Travis Kelce down in Chiefs' victory from ESPN
Travis Kelce: His illegal-use-of-hands penalty pushed back the Chiefs' first PAT attempt to the 25-yard line. From there, Cairo Santos missed a 43-yard PAT try. Kelce also couldn't hang on to a pass in the end zone near the end of the first half and the Chiefs had to settle for a field goal.
Tamba Hali joins NFL top 50 sack masters from The Kansas City Star
With his two second-half sacks totally 20 yards, Hali ran his season total to 7 1/2 and career output to 85.
That allowed him to pass Howie Long and join Osi Umenyiora in a tie for 49th place. The top two of all time are Bruce Smith (200) and Reggie White (198)
Among active players, Hali ranks 10th, a list that starts with Jared Allen with 136 and DeMarcus Ware with 133 1/2 .
His multi-sack game gives Hali 20 for his career. On[ly] Derrick Thomas, with 27, has more for the Chiefs.
NFL playoff picture: Who's in, who's out with six weeks left to play from ESPN
On the rise: Kansas City Chiefs (5-5). The Chiefs won their fourth consecutive game Sunday, dominating San Diego 33-3. And in Kansas City's final six games, only next week's matchup against Buffalo comes against a team with a winning record right now.
Chiefs distance themselves from 1-5 start to become playoff contenders from The Kansas City Star
It's no sure thing that they can keep playing like this, of course.
But the earmarks of this turnaround are the sorts of things that tell you this is a playoff team, things you can take stock in:
A swarming, opportunistic defensive lineup that produced linebacker Justin Houston's interception return for a touchdown and, well, defensive tackle Dontari Poe's 1-yard plunge for the offense; an offense than not only doesn't turn the ball over but looks dynamic (Smith threw for more than 200 yards in the first half) with its resurgent line; and airtight special-teams play.
Not that the Chiefs should, or will, assume anything.
Week 11 game balls: Jameis Winston, DeAndre Hopkins, Brock Osweiler, Tony Romo among Sunday's stars from ESPN
CHIEFS 33, CHARGERS 3
Alex Smith. He was 20-of-25 for 253 yards with five passes of 20 or more yards. He also broke the Chiefs' record for consecutive passes without an interception with 253. -- Adam Teicher
Josh Lambo. The rookie kicker drilled a 52-yard field goal, his second field goal from more than 50 yards this season, to give the Chargers the team's only points of the game. Lambo is 18-of-20 on field goals this season, with a long of 54 yards. He also finished with touchbacks on both kickoffs. -- Eric Williams
Cheers for past, boos for present in Chargers loss from The San Diego Union-Tribune
Close your eyes a moment.
Hear the chants of "LT! LT!" for LaDainian Tomlinson. Hear the applause as his No. 21 banner is raised in the Qualcomm Stadium rafters. Hear a whistle blow to signify the start of the second half.
Hear the boos now for the Chargers offense after their first possession, a three-and-out with a sack. Hear the boos after their second possession, spoiled by another sack. Hear the boos when wide receiver Dontrelle Inman drops a deep third-down pass, looking to run rather than secure the catch.
Now open them.
The Chargers have lost six straight. It's as bad as it sounds.
Instant analysis: Bolts earn fans' boos from The San Diego Union-Tribune
Because San Diegans seems to be at their best on other NFL teams -- Super Bowl stars Marcus Allen and Terrell Davis, to name two -- Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, the former Helix High star, was the most effective offensive player on Jack Murphy Field.
He hit clutch passes and ran by Chargers defenders, totaling 253 yards passing and 33 rushing yards.
Running out of the grasp of Melvin Ingram late in the second half, Smith made the game's biggest play, if there was one.
For General Manager and Tom Telesco, the performance was more reason to cue up Tom Petty's song, "Free Falling."
Tempers flare between Gates, Rivers from The San Diego Union-Tribune
For his part, Rivers said he thought the Chargers had themselves in the right place to upset the Kansas City Chiefs, thought they'd benefit from the bye week and thought they'd had a good past week of practice for K.C.
Indeed, the Chargers were only nine points down at halftime, albeit with only one 52-yard field goal by Josh Lambo on their ledger. Things went haywire in the third quarter, however, with a harried Rivers tossing an interception on a screen intended for Danny Woodhead.
The ball was picked off by linebacker Justin Houston, who'd actually been rushing on the play, then slid back with the read. He returned the theft 17 yards for a touchdown, the fourth pick-six against Rivers this season.
The touchdown-free game was Rivers' first at Qualcomm since a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012. In the end, then, Kansas City stuck the Chargers with their largest final deficit of any game this desultory year.
Chiefs oppose a Raiders-Chargers move to L.A. without realignment from ProFootballTalk
When the Raiders and Chargers first proposed a dogs-and-cats-living-together arrangement in Los Angeles, it was assumed that one of the two teams would exit the AFC West.
Absent such an adjustment, at least one of the other teams in the division is strongly opposed to the move.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Chiefs believe it would be an unfair advantage for both the Chargers and Raiders to have what amounts to an extra home game every year in the form of a road game.
AFC playoff picture, 2015 NFL Week 11: help comes Buffalo's way from Buffalo Rumblings
In the late games, Kansas City destroyed San Diego, boosting themselves to .500. Buffalo and Kansas City will face off a week from today at Arrowhead Stadium, fighting over a playoff spot, in a game that is shaping up to be a huge one.
Here is where things stand heading into Monday Night Football.
Football Physics: How Would Changing The Laws Of Physics Change Football? from Forbes
Of course, while just about all of the formal rules of the game have changed over the last hundred-odd years, one thing has remained constant: the laws of physics governing the game. Which got me thinking about how the game would be different if physics worked in different ways.
So, here's a look at some "proposed rule changes" not to the rules of football, but to the laws of physics under which the game is played.
NFL: Chiefs, the brazuca Cairo Santos wins another; Panthers below 100% from Terra [poorly translated from the original Portuguese]
The brazuca Cairo Santos completed the scoring with two short field goals (00:28 yards) and hit four of the five extra-points. But the highlight was the Kansas City defense. It annulled the rival attack, which only ran for 52 rushing yards and 178 passing yards forward. This was the fourth straight victory for a team that started very badly and now already has 5 wins and 5 losses, back to fight for a berth to the playoffs.