San Diego Chargers Dominate Chiefs With No Rain or Special Teams To Hide Behind
Wow. Just wow.
Many months ago, I wrote an article before the Monday Night Football game between the Chargers and Chiefs. I had no doubt that the Chargers would destroy the Chiefs. I mean, the Chargers had the better squad overall. A better offense and defense from what I saw not only on paper but in games. There was no excuse for why the Chargers shouldn't beat the Chiefs in the first game.
Little did I know, I didn't take into account the fact that it would rain with gusty wins and how horrible the special teams would play in that game.
Fast forward to this past Sunday in a Week 14 rematch between the Chargers and Chiefs. No rain. No gusty wins. No Chargers special teams gaffs. No problem, I thought, as now we'll get to see whether my prediction in the first article would be right that the Chargers should destroy the Chiefs.
The score at the end of the game tells the whole entire story, 31-0. Chargers win.
Offensively, the Chargers headed into that game doing something I didn't think they would do against the Chiefs. The Chargers ran the ball. Not only did the Chargers run the ball, it was what they base their entire offensive game plan around.
Mike Tolbert had 66 yards rushing for 1 TD averaging 4.1 yards per carry. Ryan Mathews had 65 yards rushing for 1 TD averaging 4.1 yards per carry also. Darren Sproles added 53 yards rushing averaging a ridiculous 8.8 yards per carry. The Chargers backs absolutely dominated the Chiefs, who boast a very respectable run defense, for 188 yards rushing. That's not even taking into account Vincent Jackson's reverse run for 14 yards.
I did expect the Chargers to pass more against the Chiefs to get into the red zone but the Chargers again surprised me. The strength of the Chiefs' "bend but don't break" defense comes in the red zone, especially in defending against the pass.
The Chargers showed in this game that sometimes having taller receivers is just the ticket to combat that defense in the red zone as Philip Rivers took advantage of the smaller Chiefs corners by throwing over them to the taller Chargers receivers like Malcom Floyd, as he caught both of San Diego's passing TDs.
Philip Rivers had his way with the Chiefs defense as he passed for 226 yards for 2 toucdowns and 1 interception. Rivers' 226 yards may not be impressive, but what is impressive is the fact that he averaged 12.6 yards per pass.
The Chargers absolutely dominated the Chiefs in every facet of the game. The Chargers outgained the Chiefs in total yardage, 426 total yards to the Chiefs' lowly 67.
Defensively, the Chargers didn't have much to worry about. They just had to put eight men fronts all game long. Nothing spectacular in terms of game-planning as the Chiefs are very one-dimensional. You stop the run, and the offense is scoring big, it makes teams that love to run revert to passing which isn't the Chiefs' strengths.
Matt Cassel wasn't playing but so what; the Chargers still would have had eight-men fronts for the Chiefs to deal with. Last I remember, Cassel had 68 yards passing against the Chargers.
Anyway, long story short, the Chargers stuffed the Chiefs running game to a total of 49 yards on the ground. Playing behind by more than two possessions heading into the second half, the Chiefs had no choice but to pass the ball. It's too bad that Brodie Croyle was the guy the Chiefs tried to lean on as he passed for only 40 yards.
In a quick recap, the Chargers dominated the Chiefs in practically every part of the game. If there is one thing to take away, it is the fact that the Chargers time of possession was 40 minutes and 10 seconds versus the Chiefs' 19 minutes and 50 seconds. If that ain't impressive, I don't know what is.
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