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Chiefs end Chargers' playoff hopes, 20-7

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20051224-1345-fbn-chargers-chiefs.html" target="_blank">Associated Press
    By Doug Tucker

    <img src="http://bolttalk.com/images/tomlinsonloss01.jpg" class="left" alt="LaDanian Tomlinson looking up at the final score in KC." />KANSAS CITY, Mo. – If the Kansas City Chiefs could play all their games in December, and at home, they might never lose.

    Larry Johnson went over 100 yards rushing for the eighth game in a row and the Chiefs won their 18th straight December home game with a 20-7 victory over San Diego on Saturday, eliminating the defending AFC West champion Chargers from playoff contention and clinching the division title for Denver.

    Playoff hopes remain alive for Kansas City (9-6), which seized a 20-7 halftime lead and made it stand.

    San Diego (9-6) was flagged for seven penalties for 58 yards and had two turnovers. The Chargers hardly resembled the tough-minded outfit that went into Indianapolis last week and ruined the Colts' unbeaten season.

    Johnson scored on a 4-yard dash and a tackle-busting 28-yard catch-and-run from Trent Green, finishing with 131 yards rushing. Since he became the starter Nov. 1 after Priest Holmes went on injured reserve, Johnson has a league-leading 1,150 yards on the ground.

    On a wet, slippery turf, he consistently fought for extra yards after contact while gouging a rush defense that came in leading the NFL with an average yield of 74.9 yards. He also had 48 yards on four receptions, including the TD. The Chargers hadn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 16 straight games.

    LaDainian Tomlinson, the other Pro Bowl running back in this game, was held to 49 yards on 15 carries.

    The Chiefs have a chance to reach the playoffs for the second time since 1997 by beating Cincinnati at home next week, having the Chargers lose to Denver in their regular-season finale Saturday and then having Detroit beat Pittsburgh on Sunday.

    One week after the Chargers played their finest game of the season and the Chiefs played possibly their worst, each team reversed its role almost entirely.

    The Chiefs bore no resemblance to the lackluster bunch who gave up 220 yards rushing the week before to Tiki Barber in a demoralizing 27-17 setback to the New York Giants. They converted 11 of 19 third downs.

    The Chiefs' first scoring drive covered 43 yards and Johnson collected every one of them, getting five yards on a pass and picking up 38 on four tough carries, capping it with a 4-yard TD run.

    The Chargers drew even at 7 a few minutes later on Drew Brees' 18-yard TD pass to Antonio Gates, who beat Kawika Mitchell and Derrick Johnson.

    But the Chiefs scored the next two TDs and Patrick Surtain intercepted Brees' pass on the Kansas City 16 when the Chargers drove into Kansas City territory early in the third quarter.

    Brees was 18-for-33 for 161 yards.

    On the first play of the second quarter, Green threw a perfect pass to Samie Parker as the second-year wide receiver ran into the end zone, putting the Chiefs up 14-7.

    Then Johnson made his tackle-busting tightrope walk down the sideline. Taking Green's pass in the flat, he broke tackles by Jamar Fletcher and Drayton Florence, each time stepping carefully to stay in bounds.

    It was just the sort of play the poor-tackling Chiefs were guilty of at New York.

    The call was reviewed to see if he broke the plane of the goal line with the ball. But the ruling on the field was upheld, making it 20-7 with 1:45 left in the half after the Chiefs botched the extra point.

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