San Diego
Kansas City
San DiegoKansas City
Chargers Shock Chiefs Behind Rivers' Big Day
Regular Season Game #11
NFL.com l Video Highlights

Jamaal Charles
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles ran for a season high 115 yards & scored two touchdowns against the Chargers.
Nov. 24- Philip Rivers called it the kind of game that could save the Chargers' season. Seyi Ajirotutu called its defining play the greatest catch of his career.

The once-embattled quarterback stoically marched San Diego downfield against Kansas City on Sunday, and then found his unheralded wide receiver with a 26-yard scoring strike with 24 seconds remaining that gave San Diego a 41-38 victory and ended its three-game losing streak.

"It's one of those you'll never forget, that's for sure," said Rivers, who threw for 392 yards and three touchdowns against a Kansas City defense that had been among the NFL's best.

"It's kind of what our season's been about," Rivers said. "Can you drive and score at the end?"

The touchdown pass to Ajirotutu answered one that Alex Smith had thrown to Dwayne Bowe with 1:22 left in the game - one that had seemingly given the Chiefs (9-2) the victory.

It turned out there'd be more lead change in a game that had eight of them.

"Philip said, 'Fly on the boundary,'" Ajirotutu said, "so I knew that's a little code word that he usually says that the ball's coming to you."

Smith wound up throwing for 292 yards and three touchdowns for the Chiefs, who lost their second straight after a 9-0 start. They also lost top pass rushers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston to injuries, and now face the prospect of playing the Broncos next week without them.

Hali has a sprained right ankle and Houston a sprained left elbow, and Chiefs coach Andy Reid said that both of them are due for MRI exams on Monday.

"I'm not making excuses," Reid said. "The next guy has to come in and we expect them to step up and make plays. There's no excuses."

San Diego (5-6) finished with 491 yards of offense against a Chiefs defense that had allowed more than 17 points just once: last week's 27-17 defeat in Denver.

Danny Woodhead had touchdowns rushing and receiving as he picked up the slack for Chargers running back Ryan Mathews, who left with a hamstring injury. Ladarius Green had a 60-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, while Keenan Allen had nine catches for 124 yards.

Of course, it was Rivers who made the entire offense sing.

"I'll tell you right now, we've got a great quarterback," Chargers coach Mike McCoy said. "There was no doubt in my mind at the end of the game he was going out and scoring."

Jamaal Charles added 115 yards rushing and two touchdowns for the Chiefs, while Donnie Avery had four catches for 91 yards and a score in their best offensive game of the year.

"I mean, you'd like to take positives away form games," Smith said, "but right now it wasn't enough. We didn't do enough as a team to come out on top."

The game turned into a back-and-forth nail-biter in the second half.

San Diego pulled ahead 17-14 when a 54-yard pass to Eddie Royal set up a 1-yard TD run by Mathews. But the Chargers helped the Chiefs take the lead right back with three pass interference penalties that gave them the ball at the San Diego 1. Charles' second touchdown made it 21-17.

The Chargers' struggling defensive backfield got one back on the Chiefs' next series. Shareece Wright, who had one of those pass interference penalties, batted a pass to Marcus Gilchrist, who had one of the others. The interception set up Woodhead's 3-yard touchdown run.

Kansas City retook the lead at 28-24 on Smith's short pass to Anthony Fasano, but after the teams traded chip-shot field goals, the Chargers took it right back.

Rivers hit Green on a quick slant, and the tight end ran 60 yards for his first career touchdown. It gave the Chargers a 34-31 lead with 7:50 left.

The Chiefs answered the call, only for the Chargers to trump them in the end.

"That's what the game's all about," McCoy said. "When the game's on the line, who's going to come up and make the big play? Who's going to make the big stop?"

Individual Statistics
Kansas City Passing:
Alex Smith 26 of 38 for 294 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception

San Diego Passing:
Philip Rivers 27 of 39 for 392 yards and 3 touchdowns

Kansas City Rushing:
Jamaal Charles 14 carries for 115 yards and 2 touchdowns
Knile Davis 1 carry for 3 yards
Dexter McCluster 1 carry for -1 yard
Alex Smith 2 carries for -3 yards

San Diego Rushing:
Ryan Mathews 14 carries for 55 yards and 1 touchdown
Danny Woodhead 6 carries for 25 yards and 1 touchdown
Ronnie Brown 6 carries for 23 yards
Philip Rivers 1 carry for 1 yard

Kansas City Receiving:
Donnie Avery 4 receptions for 91 yards and 1 touchdown
Dexter McCluster 7 receptions for 59 yards
Dwayne Bowe 5 receptions for 51 yards and 1 touchdown
Jamaal Charles 4 receptions for 42 yards
A.J. Jenkins 1 reception for 22 yards
Anthony Fasano 4 receptions for 21 yards and 1 touchdown
Anthony Sherman 1 reception for 8 yards

San Diego Receiving:
Keenan Allen 9 receptions for 124 yards
Eddie Royal 4 receptions for 87 yards
Ladarius Green 3 receptions for 80 yards and 1 touchdown
Danny Woodhead 4 receptions for 45 yards and 1 touchdown
Seyi Ajirotutu 1 reception for 26 yards and 1 touchdown
Antonio Gates 3 receptions for 21 yards
Ryan Mathews 2 receptions for 10 yards
Ronnie Brown 1 reception for -1 yard

Kansas City Tackles-Assists-Sacks:
Derrick Johnson 9-1-0, Eric Berry 8-0-1, Quintin Demps 6-1-0, Akeem Jordan 5-0-0, Brandon Flowers 3-1-0, Kendrick Lewis 3-1-0, Sean Smith 3-0-0, Marcus Cooper 2-1-0, Dontari Poe 2-0-0, Frank Zombo 2-0-0, Allen Bailey 1-0-0, Justin Houston 1-0-0, Dezman Moses 1-0-0, Tamba Hali 0-1-0

San Diego Tackles-Assists-Sacks:
Donald Butler 7-0-0, Shareece Wright 6-0-0, Richard Marshall 5-0-0, Eric Weddle 5-0-0, Jahleel Addae 3-0-0, Marcus Gilchrist 3-0-0, Thomas Keiser 3-0-1, Manti Te'o 3-0-0, Reggie Walker 2-0-1, Corey Liuget 1-0-0, Kendall Reyes 1-0-1, Tourek Williams 1-0-0

Kansas City Fumble Recoveries:

San Diego Fumble Recoveries:
Eric Weddle 1 for 0 yards

Kansas City Interceptions:

San Diego Interceptions:
Marcus Gilchrist 1 for 17 yards