Week 16 Game Recap: San Diego Chargers 7, Kansas City Chiefs 20
What you need to know
The Chargers never got on track. They were usually dominated both on offense and on defense. They were beaten in the turnover battle, giving away the ball twice while never taking it away from the Chiefs.
The Chargers, of course, depend heavily on LaDainian Tomlinson. Unfortunately for them, Tomlinson had an off day. He was pretty much bottled up the entire game by the Chiefs’ rush defense. He was targeted often by Brees, but he had trouble making the necessary receptions. He had one ball bounce off of his hands and then it was intercepted by Kansas City’s Patrick Surtain.
Brees’ production was nothing special. He played okay, but a few dropped passes, including the deflection off of Tomlinson, which was picked off by the Chiefs, cost him continuity. He was one of the most dependable players for the Chargers during the game, but even with occasional good rushing efforts, he wasn’t able to produce enough to save the Chargers.
Except for the effort of the Chargers’ defense, this game may have been a rout. The defense prevented the Chiefs from running away with the game. Particularly impressive for the Chargers was former Chiefs’ player Donnie Edwards who recorded seventeen tackles.
The Chiefs did not run away with this contest, but from early in the second quarter, there was never any doubt about who controlled the game. The Chiefs were able to manage the clock throughout the game and keep the Chargers on their heels.
Quarterback Trent Green enjoyed a very good game against a good defense. He spread the ball around well targeting 8 different players with his throws.
Prior to this game the Chargers came in having allowed an average of less than 75 yards rushing per game this year, with no opposing running backs exceeding 100 yards. They came to Kansas City as the top rated rushing defense in the league. Larry Johnson entered this contest as one of the acknowledged top running backs in the league, with seven straight games rushing for more than 100 yards. Something had to give. The Chargers’ rush defense gave. Johnson blitzed them for 131 yards and a rushing touchdown. They did manage to strip the ball from him one time, but Johnson managed to recover the loose ball himself.
The Chiefs should be counted on next week for high production from their skill players. They can not control what they need from other teams, but they still very much desire a win to give themselves a chance to continue their season.
What you ought to know
|QB Drew Brees, Pass: 18 - 33 - 161 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 5 - 31 - 0|
Brees produced fairly well for the day with 161 yards and one touchdown. He even contributed 31 yards rushing. He had too many of his passes dropped. The one pass that bounced off of Tomlinson’s hands might have been the beginning of the end for the Chargers against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. His playoff dreams are gone for this year, but he can still play for pride and the chance at a big new contract next year.
Tomlinson had a rough day. In atypical Tomlinson fashion, he was held to less than 50 yards rushing, less than 20 yards receiving and zero touchdowns. Tomlinson should be counted on next week in the Chargers’ final game of the year to bounce back and make a strong statement. He just never found room to run and the sloppy field conditions didn’t help him any.
McCardell was Brees’ favorite target and provided one of the brighter spots for the Chargers on an otherwise disappointing day. He added to his legacy when he passed Shannon Sharpe and Henry Ellard to move into a tie with Steve Largent for eleventh place on the all-time NFL receptions list with 819 catches in his career.
Eric Parker did not have one of his better days. He caught four passes on this day, but he lost one reception on a fumble and he was held to almost no yardage on his two punt returns.
Gates was very dangerous everywhere downfield using his size to advantage on catches and his size and speed for extra yards after the catch. The dependable Brees to Gates connection managed the lone score for the Chargers on an 18 yard hook-up in the first quarter.
Peelle caught the only pass thrown to him. He did not get his name called much during this game and contributed no fantasy value.
Kaeding only had one opportunity to add points for the Chargers. He was successful kicking the extra point. Meanwhile Dante Hall was able to leave the Chiefs with good field position following his two kickoffs during the game.
The Chargers rush defense was beaten up badly by the Chiefs offensive line and Larry Johnson. The San Diego defense had been dominant throughout the year, but they allowed 131 yards and one touchdown on the ground to Larry Johnson.
San Diego’s pass defense was not able to contain the Chiefs’ passing offense enough during this game. In the second half they did not allow a score, but the damage had already been done in the first half. The Chargers had given up scoring passes to Samie Parker and to Larry Johnson. On the score by Johnson, they missed a couple tackles. A valiant effort by former Chiefs’ player Donnie Edwards went for naught. Edwards did end up with 17 tackles, one assist, and one sack. Often his tackles were in the secondary on Larry Johnson who had broken through the line.
|QB Trent Green, Pass: 19 - 35 - 207 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 7 - 0|
Green finished with good statistics throwing for two touchdowns and over 200 yards. He did not throw any interceptions. He also helped keep the Chargers off balance with four rushing attempts. He spread the ball around well, targeting eight different players. Earlier in the year, there was some question about the results being seen from Green, but he has come on very strong in the second half of the year and he should be able to be counted on in the final week for good production.
|RB Larry Johnson, Rush: 32 - 131 - 1, Rec: 4 - 48 - 1 (7 targets)|
Johnson continued his amazing every game production. He currently must be considered a candidate for top running back in the league. He dominated with almost 180 yards of total offense and with two very impressive touchdowns. He also demonstrated that he is improving his ability as a pass blocker and as an all around player. He now has over 100 yards rushing for eight straight games. He has scored 17 rushing touchdowns for the year. That gives him the third highest total for rushing touchdowns for the year. It will be interesting to see if the Chiefs will be able to keep two strong all pro running backs each happy next year.
Richardson put on another great effort. He was a force as a pass blocker and he also provided a good receiving outlet for Trent Green.
Parker continues to gain more looks and playing time for the Chiefs. He is becoming a favorite target for Trent Green. He even had a 42 yard reception for a touchdown as he used his blazing speed to pull away from two defensive backs as Green hit him with a beautiful pass down the middle on the touchdown.
Kennison had a bit of an off week for the Chiefs. He only recorded two receptions during the contest. He should be back on top of his game next week.
|WR Dante Hall, Rush: 1 - 6 - 0, Rec: 1 - 2 - 0 (5 targets)|
Hall may not have had great fantasy production, but he was a valuable part of the overall Chiefs’ effort. He contributed greatly to the Chiefs control of the special teams’ battle. He provided great field position for Kansas City on punt and kickoff returns. He was also targeted often and even contributed one good rush for the Chiefs.
Boerigter was targeted once during the game and seems to be pretty much a last choice when he is in on passing plays.
Gonzalez continues to provide a large dependable target for Trent Green’s throws. He seems to be particularly effective coming across the middle, getting in front of the defender and using his size to shield the ball from the linebackers and defensive backs. Gonzalez also contributed key blocks on some of Larry Johnson’s runs.
Dunn was able to contribute well on pass and rush blocking. He also keeps the defenses honest since he is a good pass receiver and can slip outside, catch a short pass and run over defenders in his path.
Tynes final statistics don’t accurately reflect his efforts. He missed his one and only field goal attempt but it was for over 50 yards. His stat line will show that he was two out of three on extra point attempts, but the truth is that the only extra point attempt he missed was the result of a bad snap and he never got a chance to kick it. The ball was never set up for the kick.
The Chiefs rush defense deserved an A+ for their performance. They faced consensus All Pro LaDainian Tomlinson and held him to only 49 yards rushing. That has to be considered one of the best defensive efforts of the year. They looked considerably better tackling than they had the previous week against the Giants.
Kansas City’s pass defense enjoyed a good, successful day. They finished with one interception, by Patrick Surtain. They gave up one early catch for a score to Antonio Gates in the first quarter, but that was the only time that the Chargers managed to get on the scoreboard for this game. Kansas City brought their best defense to this game. They have something to build on now and even though their playoff chances are slim, they are still alive and this gives the defense some reason for hope.