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Five Lessons from the Chiefs Game

Posted Nov 25, 2013

Here are your weekly five lessons from the past week's game.

Here are five lessons we learned from Sunday’s 41-38 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

1.  No Quit, No Surrender – There were multiple times over the course of the game that the Chargers could have folded.  They trailed 14-3 with less than five minutes to go in the first half, but responded to take the lead with two consecutive touchdown drives spanning the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third.  There was a play where Jamaal Charles looked destined to reach pay dirt on a long run.  Instead, defensive end Corey Liuget chased down one of the shiftiest backs in the league to force a Shareece Wright tackle at the eight yard line.  Instead of a touchdown, the defense held the Chiefs to a field goal after another great play by Reggie Walker, who had a standout game at linebacker, allowing only three points instead of seven.  Then there was the memorable final drive of the game in which Philip Rivers orchestrated a seven play drive in 58 seconds to win the game.  As Head Coach Mike McCoy said, the true character of the team was on display Sunday:

“An outstanding team win.  It’s been a tough couple weeks. We’ve had some difficult losses, but the true character of our football team came out today.  Give the players, coaches and everyone in the organization a lot of credit for battling through and doing an outstanding job.”


2. Everybody Stepped Up  – The win over Kansas City was the definition of a team win.  Virtually every player on the roster stepped up in one way or another to contribute to the victory.  From Seyi Ajirotutu entering the game for an injured Eddie Royal to snare the game-winning catch to kicker Nick Novak pitching in with three tackles on special teams, everyone did what was needed in order to come home with the win.  While lauding the play off Rivers yesterday, McCoy  emphasized  the play of the team as a whole:

“There were a lot of big plays for the whole entire football team.  It wasn’t just one guy. There was a number of guys.”

3. A Strong Finish Wins Games – Once again the game came down to the final seconds, which has been the case for virtually the entire season.  While in recent games the Bolts failed to make the key play down the stretch, this time they came through in the clutch. .   The defense closed out the game on their end when the Chiefs had a chance to get into field goal range to tie it up.  Kendall Reyes sacked Alex Smith, then on the final play, Eric Weddle forced a fumble and recovered it.  Still , most notable  was the offense’s  winning drive.  While everyone pointed  out the clutch play of Rivers, the QB emphasized the full  team effort down the stretch:

“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 players, receivers and backs making plays.”

4. Woodhead’s Stock Continues to Climb– The contributions of Danny Woodhead cannot be overstated.  A dynamic weapon in the passing game as well as running the ball, number 39 has proven to be one of the most lethal weapons in the NFL.  His two touchdowns on Sunday, one rushing and one receiving, gave him seven on the season, tying his career high.  Equally impressive, Woodhead made two key catch-and-runs during the game-winning drive to put the Bolts in position to pull out the win.  After the game, McCoy emphasized the invaluable asset Woodhead is to the team:

“He is the definition of a football player.  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.”

5. Gates’ Greatness in the Record Books –With his second catch of the game, Antonio Gates caught his 700th NFL pass.  On his third, he surpassed 9,000 yards in his career.  In the process, he became only the fourth tight end in NFL history to reach both plateaus.   In the midst of making history, Gates is also mentoring Ladarius Green, the second year tight end who had three catches for 80 yards and a 60-yard touchdown.  While everyone  asked Green about his big day and how it felt to have his first professional TD, the youngster repeatedly said how honored he is to have an all-time great mentoring him:

“He’s amazing.  What he’s able to do is crazy. Knowing he’s got that many catches and yards, he’s a great player and it’s been an honor to learn from him.”


 

 

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