San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates hauls in a touchdown pass as Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Kurt Coleman, right, defends during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) is hit on the throwing arm by Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - For the second consecutive week, our San Diego Chargers did not play their best. While you can sometimes get away with lapses against a team like the Raiders, against Andy Reid, Alex Smith and the Chiefs, you certainly cannot. On Sunday, Kansas City was given several second chance opportunities and that's what did in the Chargers. The Chiefs beat our Bolts 23-20.
Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20, and it's easy on Monday to point out everything that didn't work on Sunday. That being said, mistakes were made that must be fixed or future victories could also be sacrificed. Number one, above all, is foolish penalties. In the second quarter, the Chargers' defense stopped the Chiefs on 3rd and 11 from the San Diego 45 yard line. But Reggie Walker was flagged for a roughing the passer infraction that came so long after Alex Smith threw the football Walker should have been penalized twice. The drive continued and resulted in 3 points for KC. The Chiefs were also stopped on 3rd down late in the third quarter, but Richard Marshall was flagged for defensive holding. The drive continued, and Kansas City got into the end zone.
Still, the Chargers had a chance to win and, in my opinion, they abandoned what was working. Running back Branden Oliver gets stronger as the game wears on and he was doing that again Sunday. Trailing by 6 in the 4th, Oliver had consecutive rushes of 12, 13 and 4 yards to get down to the KC 6 yard line. He appeared primed and destined to steamroll into the end zone. Instead, a slightly off Philip Rivers threw two incomplete passes and the Chargers settled for a Nick Novak field goal. The Chargers stopped themselves and the Chiefs made them pay in the end.
On the bright side now the Chargers are 5-2 and can make us all forget about Sunday's loss with a big win in Denver on CBS' Thursday Night Football. It's a battle for first place in the AFC West, and a chance to show a national audience that Sunday's miscue was just that.
I'll be in Denver with the team and fans, and look forward to reporting on a Chargers team that, hopefully, in a short amount of time gets its groove back.
What did you think of the game? Chime in with YOUR take in the comments section below or Tweet Kyle - @KyleKraska