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Final Drive of Game Proves Unforgettable

Posted Nov 24, 2013

The Chiefs just took a 38-34 lead with 1:28 remaining in the game.

Kansas City entered the game boasting the second stingiest defense in the league.

The Chargers were playing at hostile Arrowhead Stadium, who earlier this year set a world record for noise volume at a stadium.

Some would think the odds were stacked against San Diego. 

The Bolts, however, never had a doubt.

Not when number 17 is under center. 

"I'll tell you right now, we've got a great quarterback," said Head Coach Mike McCoy. “There was no doubt in my mind at the end of the game he was going down and scoring. We’ve got a great quarterback here and he deserves all the credit he gets.  We’re very fortunate he’s our franchise quarterback."

According to Philip Rivers, his coach’s confidence in him means a ton, but it also speaks volumes about the team’s belief in the entire offense.

“That means a lot, and it’s what I’d hope he expects out of our whole unit,” he said.  “We work on the two minute drill all the time.  I know we’ve been in this situation before this season and hadn’t gotten it done.  It’s not like it’s an easy task.  We did it in Philadelphia and we were able to do it today. It’s a credit to the offensive line and it’s a credit to the position plays, receivers and backs making plays.”

So how did that thrilling final drive play out?

It started with a third down catch by Antonio Gates on 3rd-and-10 for 12 yards, moving the ball to the San Diego 34.  From there, Danny Woodhead came through with two phenomenal plays.  First, he took a short pass from the left and made defenders miss, sprinting 19 yards before getting out of bounds at the Kansas City 47.  Then, he took another short pass to the left for 14 yards before running out of bounds at the 33-yard line with 44 seconds to go.  Woodhead had a pair of touchdowns earlier in the game, but those two plays were as critical as any other.

“He is the definition of a football player,” said McCoy.  “He shows up every day, does his job, and doesn’t ask too many questions, he just knows what to do. You can put him at any position on the football team.  He knows everybody’s job and he plays snap to whistle every play.”

On the next snap, Rivers aimed for Gates, and while the pass went incomplete, it was because the tight end was interfered with by Eric Berry.  The play moved the ball up to the 21-yard line.  Berry got his revenge on the next play, sacking Rivers from behind as he rolled out to his right, but the quarterback did a strong job holding on to the football.  Then, in the play of the game, Rivers found Seyi Ajirotutu with 22 seconds remaining up the left sideline for a 26-yard touchdown.  Ajirotutu hit the ground as he caught it, and the Chargers celebrated what proved to be the game-winning score.

Nick Hardwick has been a part of many Chargers’ victories over his career, but to him, this ranks among the most memorable. 

“This right here was an all-timer,” he said.  “We knew we were getting the ball back so we said let’s just go down, score and win the game.  Just ball, dog!  Just go out, turn it loose and ball.  Go out and score.  I kind of saw (Ajirotutu) come down with it, but then I heard the stadium deflate and our guys got excited.  I’m telling you, there is nothing better.  It’s the best feeling in the world.  That’s why we keep doing this.”

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