By Ryan Rodriguez
Well, what do you know Charger fans, your boys finally pulled out a last minute win. After several excruciating losses this year, (four to be exact) the powder blue boys finally returned the favor on a team when Philip Rivers hit Seyi Ajirotutu for a 26- yard touchdown with 26 seconds left to give them a 41-38 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. It was a masterful drive by Philip and the offense, as they stayed calm under pressure while the formerly stout Chiefs defense gave up way to many easy passes to help set up the final TD.
The game saw the Chargers get back to their early season plan of throwing the ball more and letting Philip be the true catalyst of the offense. With the Chiefs slowing down the Chargers run game (3.9 ypc), Philip and the offensive line stepped up and answered the call. Now, if only the Chargers’ defense could have performed, this game would have been a blowout. But alas, they gave up big play after big play to Jamaal Charles and company. Good thing it ultimately didn’t matter because Philip was the man and dropped shot put after shot put into the arms of his receivers to keep the Chargers playoff hopes alive for another week.
Chargers Offensive Line vs Chiefs Front 7
Great freaking game by the offensive line. One sack given up. Are you kidding me?? When I wrote in the preview that they had to keep Philip clean, I never thought they would keep him that clean. Yeah, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston got hurt and couldn’t finish the game, but the sack didn’t even come until the last drive on a scramble.It’s a testament to how this line is stepping up to the plate late in the season. They are able to overcome injuries and shuffling positions while blocking for someone as immobile as Philip. Continuity in the running game may never come this year, but if they block like they did yesterday in the pass game, they can continue to give their team an outside shot at the playoffs.
Chargers Run Defense vs Chiefs Rush Offense
This is an aspect of the game that is quite comical to look at. Not really sure why I keep highlighting the sad bunch of linemen that make up the Chargers run defense because they don’t play any defense. Yesterday they saw Jamaal Charles run for 115 yards on 14 carries. That’s just embarrassing. They are lucky that the Chiefs ran the ball so little because Jamaal gave me the feeling that he would have rushed for 200 yards if given the opportunities. This continues to be the Achilles heel for the Chargers and just as the offensive line has been stepping up to the plate, the run defense needs to as well or all the offensive fireworks will be for naught.
I didn’t see enough of this game to truly assess how coach Mike McCoy faired so I won’t expand on this in any way. I will say though that the Chargers offense, McCoy’s expertise, performed very well, and his offensive game plan was a little more aggressive throwing the ball which I believe is truly how the Chargers will win games this year.
Keenan Allen is a beast. I know he didn’t score but he was constantly finding himself open in the first half and is providing Philip with a promising young receiver with first round talent.
That Danny Woodhead signing is looking great. That guy is just a football player. The move he made on Sean Smith on the last drive to dip inside and pick up an extra 10 yards before getting out of bounds was just another case of the little guy doing more than he should.
Last one, Seyi Ajirotutu making that catch at the end of the game is what makes the NFL great. Every week there is one no-name player who makes a big play to help his team win, and this week it was Tutu’s (as Philip called him) time to step up.