Nov 1, 2012; San Diego CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Dexter McCluster (22) is tackled by San Diego Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer (23) and safety Atari Bigby (26) at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Excuses in the Chargers Win over the Chiefs

Nov 24, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (91) is assisted off the field after an injury timeout during the first half of the game against the San Diego Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Let me start off by stating the obvious, Chargers Win! With the last drive that ended with Seyi Ajirotutu game winning touchdown catch, 41-38, the Chargers had plenty of reasons, at 4-6, to lay down for the 9-1 Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium.One being they were a game out of the playoff race with a tough schedule left to play, the other? Injuries. Now everybody gets injuries, it’s not “if” but “when” they occur. The Chargers were not immune, but looking back before OTA’s, there was a plan from day one.

Before the Chargers ever played one regular season game , they had a total of 10 starters go down with injuries. That means they started their season with backs-ups, practice squad and free agents players off the street. Unfortunately the injuries to starters haven’t stopped. However, the plan, looking back was pure genius from Mike McCoy. In his first training camp all the players received “equal” amount of snaps. You would think that would be common place, but it isn’t. Most training camps play their starters while free agents, rookies, or camp bodies wait for opportunities to get some reps. After the first 2 weeks it is true coaches know who going to make the 53, still Head Coach Mike McCoy maintained a competition atmosphere, no matter what your experience, contract status, or legendary place in the community. The message was clear, ” you need to earn your spot on this team”.

Which brings me to the game this past Sunday. It is suggested the Chargers got “lucky” because, the Chiefs lost two of the defenses best pass rushers. That is a nice way to console the loss, Chargers fans know this technique all to well, closer to the truth, I told you so. The facts are, Hali an Houston accounted for 20 of the teams 32 sacks. Those numbers were compiled over the first 8 games of the season, however Hali has 0 sacks in the last 2 games and Houston only 1. On top of that the Chargers O-line is ranked 4th in the league for fewest sacks. Now let’s put all these FACTS in “context” and bring this thing home.

The issue is two players account for the majority of the teams sacks, that tells me KC is totally dependent on these guys staying healthy for there pass rush to be effective. The other, without them there really isn’t anybody that KC has to step up and fill that void. The Chargers have 29 and managed to get sacks with starters, backups, and practice squad players. Playing better teams, or just long enough, someone will figure out how to nullify that nifty pass rush, Keenan Allen, Eddie Royal, Ladarius Green, Danny Woodhead, beat the press coverage ALL DAY, which lead to the ball getting out quicker, and putting the defense on its heels. Most importantly the Chargers had the ROOKIE right tackle, playing left tackle. The starting right guard playing right tackle, and two backups playing guards. And all the KC defense could manage was, even while Hali and Houston were in the game, was ONE SACK…..ONE.

The Chargers won the game because they employ a philosophy of using 53 players over 17 weeks to win games, not 2.

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Tags: San Diego Chargers

  • mike yale

    I love the KC fans excuses. They’re oblivious to other teams injury reports.

    • arnie

      LOL no they weren’t oblivios, or at least the ones i spoke to, they just refused to acknowledge it was a factor in their success.

  • Tazzster

    Love it!

    And if KC wants to use the ‘got lucky’ excuse they might as well just forefit any future games where Hali and Houston are not playing, because other teams are going to just get lucky on them.

    Plus I don’t remember KC using the got lucky excuse when they got to play a couple of teams earlier this year the week after they lost their starting QB to injury.
    And while its still my turn…. If they don’t like it, they can come to my house on December 29th and we will get lucky on them again.

    • arnie

      Tazzster i tried to be reasonable in esplaning, at some point they would need to lean on ALex Smith to win games, because Charles, Bowe or that defense would not be able to come through. They’re still a good football team and Smith is an upgrade, but the 49ers let him go ” for a reason”.

      • Peter Thompson

        In all fairness. .. what were they supposed to do? Draft Geno Smith? I wish!!! I always said they picked the wrong year to go 2-14.

        • arnie

          It would have been an Improvement. LOL Look regardless of what people have said about him, he has given the jets a spark and shows he can do way more than Sanchez, at 80% healthy. Andy Ried has been polishing turds for years, he’s just a master at hiding QB weaknesses.

        • arnie

          It would have been an improvenemt. LOL Look regardless of what people say about him, he has given the jets a spark, and is way more effective 80% healthy than Sanchez. Andy Reid has been polishing turds for years, he’s just a master of hiding QB weaknesses and getting the most of what they can do well.

  • Angel

    Chargers put in work. Man, slapped em in the face AT ARROWHEAD. Jus had to say Good f’n job (go Raiders)

    • veazy

      I gave you a plus to cancel the negative.

  • Dave O

    Well said. If the Chiefs has as many injuries as we’ve had they’d be well out of the playoff picture. Go cry me a river that 2 guys went down in one game. We had three or four starters go down in the game and miss time (Mathews, Fluker, Wright and Liuget off the top of my head) and we still got it done. Been doing it with backups all year.

    • arnie

      Thanks Dave. Next Man Up!

    • Joel Ayala

      Not to mention Our RT moved over to LT and Our RG moved to RT. and the only sack they got was a coverage sack!! If I’m not mistaken. and our Backup LBs put some pressure on their game manager QB. lol


    I will say that having Hali and Houston out did change the game.
    But after they got injured the level of competition was much more even.
    If the Chargers were fully healthy no doubt we’d be one of the Top teams in the AFC

    • Ambitoos

      Not with a 27th ranked defense. The secondary is full of rookies and there’s nothing that can improve that but more reps and playing time. That secondary will require the offense to score, score, score. Let’s hope we can do it.

    • arnie

      Their is some truth to that, like not having Ingram to start the season? Part of my point was i warned the KC fans this would happen. They was 6 or 9 starters injured last season? That tells me their team was built on a handful of guys. We’ve seen this before, when norv was coach. Whenever a starter went down on his watch, things would fall apart and eventually the season.
      Nothing would please me more than to had the secondary play better, right now. What keeps me hopeful that things will get better, is the youngsters are getting playing time and be better for it.

  • Sergio Quintero

    The OLB’s that played for the chargers are 5-6-7 in depth chart, so poor KC lost their OLB for little more than a half, boo hoo. Wrong fanbase to ask for an apology, or some mercy.

    • arnie


    • Gunnar Martin

      That’s exactly what I was thinking haha

  • Patrick Allen

    The Chiefs might have pulled out the victory if those guys didn’t go down but that is irrelevant because they did go down. You play with the players you’ve got and the Chargers pulled it out and were the better team on Sunday.

    I am sure some of my fellow KC fans are bitter that Houston and Hali went down ( I am) but the Chiefs had a chance to win the game and couldn’t close the deal. Gotta credit SD for gutting out a tough win on the road. No such thing as excuses in football. The better team wins the day. Congrats.

  • Blue&gold_blood

    Arnie thank you very much for this truthful and most honest article . The facts are facts. So beat it.

    • arnie

      i tried.

  • Blue&gold_blood

    Never get this out of my head, Floyd, DX, Allen in the slot, gates, Woodhead and Mathews …. And now throw in green. What a offense we could have had .

  • BruisingChargers

    Nice article and analysis Arnie. On a side note, nice to see Peyton Manning lose a 24-0 lead in the first half and lose the game. Feels like “PayBack.” Oh wait… payback is coming up soon.

  • Nick Mansoor

    the Chargers have been dealing with injuries ALL SEASON LONG, and we managed to still find a way to win. the Queefs on the other hand, lose 2 players and now their bitchin that we got “lucky”. yeah, right. a win is a win. Only elite teams find a way to win with injuries. SUCK IT EASY CHIEFS.

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  • 1961 Fan

    The game with the Chiefs could have ended the other way. To win this year in K. C. may have been the pivotal moment in the Bolts year. Starting today (with the Bengals) the Chargers must win four of the last five games. Let us not forget the Bolts play the Chiefs again in the last regular season game and that game may propel the Chargers into or out of the Playoffs. It is mean spirited to wish for key injuries or any injuries to the other team; be proud that you beat the other contender on his own turf with all his best players on the field.