The elements made for an ugly game from the start, but the Chiefs competitiveness made it even uglier as the Chiefs surrendered with fifteen minutes left in the game.
The first quarter flew by with the Chiefs facing a 14-point deficit. As the Chiefs entered the second quarter, the secondary was once again a victim of the "big" play.
This time it wasn't one big play, but two, as Philip Rivers connected with Vince Jackson on two 51-yard bombs just in the second quarter. Thankfully, the Chiefs defense held the Chargers on both drives to just two field goals. The score at halftime was 20-0 Chargers.
As the Chiefs came out of the locker room, they showed that they had a little life left as Matt Cassel orchestrated a drive that ended in a seven-yard Dwayne Bowe TD catch.
Into the third quarter, there was a feeling of comeback as the Chiefs defense looked alive in the early parts of the second half. However, the feeling of a comeback was quickly replaced with the feeling of surrender.
On a pivotal third down, the Chiefs sent the "house" on a blitz, which allowed Rivers to find an open Darren Sproles weaving his way to the end zone on a 58-yard touchdown.
Immediately thereafter, Cassel went on to throw three interceptions in a matter of maybe five minutes. The first interception was an embarrassing throw to Sean Ryan, which went 10 yards over his head. The next two picks just proved to be icing-on-the-cake for another Chiefs' meltdown.
Then the Chiefs' special teams decided to get in on the dysfunction when they allowed a blocked punt for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. At this point, it wasn't just any hopes of even a good game that left Arrowhead stadium, but the majority of fans left, as well.
Neither the defense, or the offense was capable of competing at the level of the Chargers on Sunday. When the Chiefs were able to get the ball across the 50-yard line, the Chargers were able to force a turnover. When the Chargers faced third-and-long, they countered with a 50-yard bomb down the field.
The team and the fans can get over losing by 30 points on your home field. They can get over getting pummeled by a division rival. They can handle the "franchise quarterback" looking like Ryan Leaf on a bad day. They can get another Top-Five pick in the draft next year.
What they cannot handle is the team giving up.
After the third interception in the fourth quarter, Todd Haley quit coaching. The game no longer was about trying to win, or even come back, it became a waving the "white flag" moment. Todd Haley gave up trying to score.
With the Chiefs down 37-7 in the final quarter, Todd Haley called three running plays on one four down series. The most disgusting part of this series was that he called a running play on fourth down, which was stopped by the way. Knowing the team couldn't win, Haley chose not to try to close the gap, but rather run out the clock.
It was as if Haley was just counting down the minutes until the bye week. Without a soul in the stands, it seemed that the team and the coach surrendered to the Chargers on their own home field.
The team had given up on the coach, and the coach gave up on the team—completely unacceptable.
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