Following the game against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday afternoon, Smith now has 3,507 passing yards on the season now passing his last years highest by five yards. He has also tied a couple other career marks, including 8 yards gained per pass attempt (2012, his last year with the San Francisco 49ers) and touchdowns at 23 (2013). Imagine, if Smith threw a single touchdown on Sunday, or if some didn’t get called back because of boneheaded penalties, he would have broken his single-season touchdown record, too.
"He was even at the hotel with us [Saturday] night," safety Ron Parker said. "Any advice he can give to us while he's not out there, he's giving it to us and that's much respect. That's taking us a long way. … We feed off his energy, his vibe. Just to look at him and see him walk through [the locker room], it gives you a different energy. We do feed off his presence."
Reasonably good health in the line has contributed to Philip Rivers becoming the hardest full-time regular to sack in the NFL this year, while also allowing the unit to try out a wider variety of wrinkles in run-blocking designs than a year ago.
Then, of course, the question is how much responsibility does Jack Del Rio deserve in all of this? It was his decision to let Bill Musgrave go in favor of Downing. It was his decision to keep Ken Norton Jr. It was he and Reggie McKenzie who ignored the defense in free agency and relied so heavily on their draft picks to be the answer. It is he who consistently has not held his players, coaches, or himself accountable for their failings.
Ok, Del Rio. No one is comfortable. Now what?
One day after collecting his first career interception, safety Steven Terrell was placed on injured reserve by the Chiefs, who filled the roster spot with rookie Leon McQuay. Terrell’s injury wasn’t disclosed.
For the third straight week, an opposing offense failed to gain 300 yards against the defense (Washington barely gained 200). The Chargers allowed the offense only a single touchdown, they forced a key turnover and they were almost unbreakable on third down, conceding to Washington twice in 12 tries.
“No. He’s back,” Reid said. “The suspension is over and now he’s back in and ready to roll. That’s the way I’m going to handle it and that’s the way he’ll handle it. For whatever wrong took place, he paid that price and now he’s back and I expect nothing but the best for him.”
Wilson hauled in five of his six targets and earned 24 of his 72 yards after the catch in Week 14. Alex Smith and Wilson have been a solid connection all season and Sunday’s results against Oakland were more of the same: Smith had a 138.7 passer rating on his 30 targets to Wilson in the first 13 weeks of the season, he had a 116.7 passer rating when targeting Wilson against the Raiders.
“The atmosphere on Saturday night will be about as good as you can find anywhere,” Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said. “Those are games you grow up dreaming about playing in.”
The Chiefs started the game Sunday dead in the water. They’d lost five straight games, during which first the offense and then the defense took turns being horrific. They were coming off having Josh McCown throw for what felt like a thousand yards and 10 touchdowns. Their best player in the secondary was suspended and the team looked like an absolute mess. They were completely beaten down.
Making matters even worse, the next opponent was Derek Carr and the Raiders, who completely torched the Chiefs a month ago. So naturally, this is what happened.
“It sucked. It was not good enough and you can put it all on me. Don’t you blame one coach, one player. It is all my fault.”
"We don’t deserve to be No. 1 in our division when we just went out there and pissed on our leg," said tight end Lee Smith.