There were numerous factors that added up to what D.J. Fluker dubbed a "gut punch" of a loss.
While there were defensive and special teams miscues that contributed to the loss, many on offense put the onus on themselves for not putting the game away. After scoring 21 points in the first half, they could only muster a pair of field goals as the Chiefs stormed back for a 33-27 OT win over the Chargers.
It would be easy to blame Keenan Allen's injury as a turning point for the offense. The Chargers were 6-for-6 on third down and strung together three long scoring drives that ended in touchdowns before the wide receiver suffered a knee injury late in the first half. While acknowledging the injury changed things, the Chargers were still able to sustain drives early in the second half. They moved the ball down the field on their first two possessions of the third quarter, but had to settle for field goals.
"It's rare in a game like this you don't turn the ball over, score 27 points and you lose," Philip Rivers said. "That's not saying anything about our defense at all. I'm just saying (that) if you don't turn it over and score 27 points, you'd feel pretty good about that. I don't feel good about it because I don't think we held up our end. When it is all said and done offensively, I don't think we held up our end."
The stats back up those assertions.
San Diego was 6-for-7 on third downs in the first half, but was 1-for-8 in the second. They amassed 219 total yards, including 151 through the air, 68 on the ground and 16 first downs over the first 30 minutes of play. However, they had just 169 yards in the second half, including 82 passing yards and 87 rushing yards with 10 first downs.
"That was a gut punch, and I can't really explain why," said Fluker. "When you are landing haymakers in the first, second and third (quarter), you can't stop throwing them in the fourth. We have to keep throwing them and knock them out."
According to Rivers, San Diego's inability to put points on the board after Jason Verrett's interception gave the Bolts possession early in the fourth quarter was a turning point.
"Right there was when I felt like if we finish this, it's over; we can go ahead and finish this right here. We got it at the 45-yard line and we went three-and-out and didn't get anything out of it."
Number 17 also wishes he could get back an overthrown pass to Travis Benjamin he believes could have altered the outcome.
"It was 24-10 and we got a chance right there to hit Travis with a gimme. It is hard to get a guy that wide open and the ball just came out and sailed on me a little bit. I thought I was going to give him a layup and then it kept going and going and going."