Jamaal Charles' Kansas City Chiefs Shock the NFL, Beat the San Diego Chargers
It marked the opening of the "new" Arrowhead stadium, and the fireworks that were set off before the game were no match for the fireworks provided by the Chiefs during the game. There were old faces and new faces making an impact all over the field.
The Chargers were the favorites going into the game, and many people had the Chiefs written off as the loser of this match-up before it even started. The Chiefs had other ideas.
On K.C.'s first drive, they looked like the same old Chiefs team. They quickly went three and out, and then let the Chargers march right down the field and score a touchdown shortly after. (Phillip Rivers to Antonio Gates, 7 yards)
Then it happened: on the third play of the Chiefs' third drive, RB Jamaal Charles broke free for a 56-yard run to paydirt to tie the game. .
The Chargers didn't fare very well in the second quarter. They managed to pick up a few first downs, but scored no points. On top of that, it started raining, making it hard for them to stretch the field and throw deep.
On the Chargers fifth drive, LB Derek Johnson forced a San Diego fumble by stripping Chargers RB Ryan Matthews near midfield.
The Chiefs recovered, and on the ensuing drive, QB Matt Cassel connected with TE Tony Moeaki for a two-yard TD pass. This gave the Chiefs a 14-7 lead.
The Chargers had trouble moving the ball for the rest of the first half, and to add to their frustration, Chiefs rookie WR Dexter McCluster ran a punt back for a 94-yard score with 2:03 left before the break.
The Chiefs would take a 21-7 lead into halftime, but didn't look too offensively impressive. All three of their touchdowns were the result of either big plays or turnovers.
The Chargers got the ball to start the second half, but again, the drive stalled before it even got started. They didn't move the ball very far and had to punt the ball away to the disgust of QB Philip Rivers.
The Chiefs couldn't muster much offense either, and the game became a series of stalled drives and punts. The field conditions were less than favorable for a high scoring game. The rain had soaked into the field and seemed to affecting both teams' offenses.
Late in the third quarter, Chiefs defensive tackle Tyson Jackson injured a leg and had to be helped off of the field. On the very next play, Rivers found a wide open WR Legado Naanee for a career-long 59 yard TD pass, cutting the Chiefs' lead to 21-14. The drive took only five plays and went 91 yards.
On the Chiefs' next drive, Kansas City managed to pick up their first third-down conversion on Dwayne Bowe's first catch of the game for 13 yards. One play later, the third quarter would come to a close with the Chiefs taking a 21-7 lead into the fourth.
The Chiefs' drive would stall at the San Diego 41, and they would once again have to punt the ball away.
Rivers would pick up three quick first downs (one run, two pass), the last of which was on second and 19.
The Chargers would then go for it on fourth and nine from the Chiefs 32-yard line, but an errant pass from Rivers went off the hands of his receiver, and the Chiefs took over on downs.
The Chiefs went three and out and gave the Chargers one last chance to tie the game with a TD.
After a pair of 22-yard passes from Rivers, the Chargers were in business. They would pick up a key fourth down going inside the five-yard line.
Rivers had one last set of downs to get a touchdown or bust.
On first down. the Chiefs deflected a pass at the goal line.
On second down, DT Ron Edwards stuffed a run in the backfield.
On third down, Rivers overthrew WR Malcom Floyd in the back of the end zone.
This brought up a fourth down to decide the game, and the Chiefs got pressure on Rivers and covered all of his targets in end zone.
Rivers couldn't complete the pass, and the Chiefs won the game. Chiefs fans have to be even more optimistic after this win than they were before the Monday night match-up.
The upset gives The Chiefs sole possession of first place on the AFC West after Week 1. DT Glenn Dorsey looked great getting penetration, as did RB Jamaal Charles toting the rock in the Chiefs' first Monday Night football win in ten years.
Now the Chiefs look to make it 2-0 against the Browns in Cleveland next week in the next step in their quest for the playoffs.
If they keep playing like they did Monday night, they may just get there...
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