"Marcus went out there and played lights-out football," said Chiefs safety Ron Parker, who had the other pick. "I think he came back with an ego. He wanted to prove to us that he missed us."
He proved it with his actions, even if he didn't want to say it in words.
Peters refused to speak to reporters this week, then declined to speak again after the game, even though players can be subject to fines if they do not handle media responsibilities.
“Bad games can crop up at any time, but I would like to think we were beyond some of these and that we had taken the next step as a program,” Coach Anthony Lynn said. “We took a step back today.”
While technically, this game wasn’t for the AFC West title, it was awfully close to that. If the Chiefs win either of their two final games — at home against Miami, or at Denver — the Chargers are toast, no matter what happens next week at the New York Jets or in their finale at home against Oakland.
By then, a crowd of reporters had gathered around Peters’ locker. They waited for him to fully dress — jeans, boots and a throwback baseball jersey. He did not look their way but told a staffer he’d talk in a few days.
“Y’all want to talk to me?” teammate Terrance Mitchell said, joking.
“Yeah, let T-Mitch do it,” Peters said of his fellow defensive back, laughing. “T-Mitch is me.”
Peters did not stand for the national anthem, again. If that angers you, that’s your right. He’s expressed support for the military but hasn’t clarified his thoughts on this as much as some other players. And if you can’t get past that and will dislike him no matter what, then that is your right, too.
But the man can play ball.
He is by far the Chiefs’ best cornerback, he is their best playmaker, and depending on Justin Houston’s health, their best defender.
Philip Rivers never has looked worse. He found initial problems, getting sacked twice and throwing for just 109 yards in the first half. He did throw for 88 on the first second-half scoring drive — and then three three bad picks on his final 12 attempts that sealed it. He and his team screwed up. Chiefs didn’t. Blew a must-win. A sloppy, terrible defeat.
Putting together another complete game that seemed out of their grasp during their funk, they did it with many of the elements that mysteriously had gone dormant … if not doomed to be missing altogether for the rest of the season.
With the resumption of more imaginative defensive schemes by coordinator Bob Sutton and a spark from the return of Marcus Peters from a one-game suspension, the defense created heat for Los Angeles quarterback Philip Rivers (especially in the first half) and generated four turnovers.
"You take any kind of win tonight, but certainly one like that for sure, just the way the team played," Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said. "That was a red-hot offense, hadn’t turned the ball over in a lot of weeks. They had been real productive. Our defense, to do what they did tonight, was impressive. I thought the way our [offensive] line [played] and the way Kareem ran ... it was impressive and fun to watch back there."
Does the ball touch the ground? Yes. Did the ground assist Hunt in making the grab or cause him to lose control? Ehhhhh ... that’s a stretch.
Hunt looked like the runaway Offensive Rookie of the Year early in the season and the Chiefs desperately need him to regain that form if the team hopes to make a run in the postseason.