In an unforeseeable plot twist, the Kansas City Chiefs churned out points by the bunches and resembled a well-oiled offensive machine.
However, newsworthy injuries crippled the defense, and Philip Rivers imposed his will throughout the second half.
San Diego - 41
Kansas City - 38
|First-Half Grade||Final Grade|
vs. Chargers Week 12
Final analysis for the Kansas City Chiefs
Passing Offense: Alex Smith authored his most successful afternoon as a member of the Chiefs, routinely sniping spirals with robotic accuracy. Kansas City’s quarterback completed 26 of his 38 attempts for a season-high 294 yards.
Rushing Offense: Jamaal Charles humiliated San Diego’s front seven, averaging 8.2 yards per carry. However, Andy Reid resupplied his critics with ammunition, feeding the All-Pro ankle-breaker a meager 14 times.
Rushing Defense: Collectively, San Diego’s rushers averaged less than four yards (3.9) per attempt. Dontari Poe captained an impressive run-stuffing effort, as Kansas City dominated the trenches throughout the entirety of the game.
Passing Defense: When Tamba Hali and Justin Houston were on the field, Philip Rivers constantly found himself under duress, and the Chargers were limited to three points. After their departures, Kansas City’s defense was reduced to shambles.
Special Teams: Dexter McCluster and Quintin Demps routinely spearheaded returns that left fans on the edge of their seats.
Coaching: Creative play-calling aided Kansas City’s aerial assault, but Charles’ lack of handoffs was inexcusable. When Kansas City was inside of San Diego’s 10-yard line, Reid also called a timeout with 1:28 remaining, sparing precious seconds for the Chargers offense.
First-half analysis for the Kansas City Chiefs
Passing Offense: Alex Smith was markedly efficient, completing 10 of his 13 passes for 130 yards. However, on the heels of the first scoring drive, Kansas City’s surgical passing game reverted back to its conservative roots. It later redeemed itself with another crowd-pleasing downfield march, though.
Rushing Offense: Jamaal Charles was devastatingly effective. The problem? He only received six carries. A makeshift offensive line performed surprisingly well, but Andy Reid needs to shorten the game and limit Philip Rivers’ opportunities. The best way to do that is handing the rock to Charles.
Rushing Defense: Ryan Mathews rarely saw any glimpses of daylight, but he made the most of his opportunities when they were presented to him. Despite the absence of renowned run-stuffer Mike DeVito, Dontari Poe and Co. dictated the line of scrimmage with relative ease.
Passing Defense: Philip Rivers is arguably penning the best season of his career, but his streak of success hit a brick wall during the first two quarters. The bad news? Tamba Hali was carted to the locker room with a debilitating knee injury, and play also had to be stopped for a wounded Justin Houston just before halftime.
Special Teams: Dustin Colquitt looked uncharacteristically average throughout the half. Dexter McCluster nearly broke away for a punt-return touchdown but was tripped up at the last second.
Coaching: Kansas City exploited mismatches through creative play-calling and healthy doses of motions and shifts.
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