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We're headed to overtime with everything on the line.
Ryan Succop pushed a 39-yard field goal attempt wide left, preserving the Bolts' playoff hopes. It's 24-24 as we head into a fifth period to determine if the Chargers will play on.
Ryan Mathews started the fourth quarter off with a 20-yard run. Eddie Royal and Philip Rivers finally connected two minutes later -- after two long passes fell short in the third quarter, they hooked up for a six-yard touchdown.
With the score 24-21, Qualcomm got to its feet to cheer the defense. And that unit responded with more stellar play, forcing a tackle for loss on a swing pass to Dexter McCluster, and ultimately, another punt.
Rivers and Keenan Allen took over from there. They connected twice for 46 yards -- including a 38-yard pinpoint pass from Rivers that Allen took upfield. At the Chiefs four-yard line, Nick Novak kicked his first field goal.
On the next drive, Chase Daniel connected with Dexter McCluster on two big passes. Then, he threw to Junior Hemingway for 24 yards to get the Chiefs in field goal range.
Cyrus Gray picked up a crucial first down on a Wildcat rush and forced the Bolts to burn their timeouts.
But Succop missed his 39-yard attempt and sent Qualcomm into a frenzy. Stay tuned to Chargers.com. Read
Philip Rivers tried to find his receivers with three deep throws. All three fell incomplete, though, and it was up to the Bolts' defense to stop the Chiefs from capitalizing.
That's exactly what they did. The Bolts offense went three-and-out on consecutive drives to open the half, but the defense limited the Chiefs to just three points from a Ryan Succop field goal and forced two Chiefs punts and notched a sack by Kendall Reyes.
After 45 minutes, the Bolts trail the Chiefs 24-14.
Rivers lofted his first deep throws to Royal. He nearly hauled in the second, but both fell incomplete out of his grasp and led to punts from Mike Scifres. On their third try for a big play, the Pro Bowl passer looked deep to Seyi Ajirotutu. The hero of the first matchup couldn't haul in a long sideline throw, and despite a third down conversation on the ensuing play, the Bolts punted yet again.
The defense held serve to get it back to the offense, and that’s where they’ll pick up fourth quarter action.
A future Hall of Famer tied the game up early, but the Chiefs seized the lead back late in a back-and-forth second quarter.
Antonio Gates snagged a spinning touchdown on the period’s opening play. But as the quarter came to a close, the Chiefs mounted an 11-play drive that ended with another touchdown run by Knile Davis.
At the end of the first half, the Bolts trail the Chiefs, 21-14.
Gates' crafty route running led to the quarter-opening score. He gained inside leverage off the line immediately, and when Kendrick Lewis bit on his fake inside, he turned a slant into a four-yard back corner fade. Rivers' throw couldn't have been more perfect.
But the Chiefs moved the ball on their next two possessions. Dexter McCluster and A.J. Jenkins moved the chains with catches on the Chiefs' first drive of the quarter. On their second drive, a 29-yard scrabble by Chase Daniel set the Chiefs up for Davis' scoring burst.
The Bolts regained the ball with a minute to play. But Rivers had to evade a relentless Chiefs pass rush, and on third down, his shovel pass to Vincent Brown fluttered incomplete.
The Bolts will receive the second half kickoff. Stay tuned to Chargers.com.
Five weeks after they traded blows in Kansas City, the Chargers and Chiefs are at it again on offense.
Philip Rivers pieced together two drives -- the first, capped by a beautiful 22-yard touchdown lob to Ladarius Green, and the second has the Bolts in scoring range looking to tie the game up at 14-14.
Donald Butler nearly ended the game's opening drive with an equally explosive play. The linebacker couldn't hold on to a throw from Chiefs passer Chase Daniel, though, and on the next play, Daniel hit a streaking A.J. Jenkins for 40 yards. Then, Knile Davis busted a draw play up the middle for 17 yards and a score.
The Bolts answered back in style. Ryan Mathews took a quick draw 44 yards down the Chargers sideline -- the third week in a row he's notched a run of at least 20 yards. He toted the rock two more times before Rivers dropped back on 3rd-and-4, stepped up in the pocket, and hit Green in stride in the end zone on a deep corner route.
The Bolts defense stood tall with a three-and-out, but on the ensuing possession, Rivers was picked off. Dexter McCluster scored on three-yard touchdown catch, but Rivers and the Bolts marched again. They're at the Chiefs' four-yard line to start the second quarter, looking to respond again with a touchdown.
The San Diego Chargers (8-7) aim to close out the calendar year on a high note with a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) in their regular-season finale. Coach Mike McCoy said the team needs Qualcomm Stadium at its loudest from kickoff at 1:25PM to the final whistle.
Newly minted Pro Bowler Philip Rivers should cap his finest statistical season with another strong outing. Rivers is completing passes at a higher clip (69.7%) than any other NFL passer; his 29 touchdowns and 10 interceptions are nothing to overlook, either. He's surrounded with talent on offense, with young receiving options like Rookie of the Year candidate Keenan Allen emerging behind veteran scoring threats like running back Danny Woodhead and tight end Antonio Gates. And when the Bolts keep the ball on the ground, there's been no better rusher of late than Ryan Mathews.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid admitted that he'll "mix-and-match" his starters with his team in firm control of the AFC's 5th seed. But on any given snap, the Chiefs' MVP candidate, Jamaal Charles, can break a game open should he play. Charles has scored 19 times this year through the air and on the ground -- and he's got the full confidence of former Helix High School standout Alex Smith. Kansas City will be without top receiving threat Dwayne Bowe, so it'll be up to second-time Pro Bowler Eric Weddle and Co. to stop the rest of the Chiefs' receivers.
Inactives for the Chargers include: Brad Sorensen, Lavelle Hawkins, Brandon Taylor, Marcus Cromartie, Kenny Wiggins, Steve Schilling and Kwame Geathers.
Stay tuned to Chargers.com for all the latest for Bolts-Chiefs. ReadRead