Rivers, defence star as Chargers rip Chiefs
SAN DIEGO, California (AFP) –
Philip Rivers threw two touchdown passes and San Diego’s defense scored twice on turnovers as the Chargers routed visiting Kansas City 31-13 in a National Football League game.
The Chargers improved to 4-4, hot on the heels of AFC West division leader Denver (4-3), while the Chiefs suffered their fifth loss in a row, sliding to 1-7 with 28 turnovers, the most by any team halfway into a season in 15 years.
Rivers threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates in the first quarter to open the scoring and flipped a 13-yard touchdown toss to Malcom Floyd early in the fourth quarter to give the Chargers a 17-6 lead with 11:33 remaining.
San Diego then sealed the victory with two defensive touchdowns in a span of only 2:06.
Shaun Phillips, making his 100th NFL start, recovered a fumble in the end zone to stretch the Chargers’ lead and Demorrio Williams returned an interception 59 yards for another touchdown to give San Diego a 31-6 edge.
Shaun Draughn ran six yards for a Kansas City touchdown with 4:26 to play but it was too little and far too late.
Unbeaten Atlanta will try to complete a perfect first half of the season with a home victory Sunday night over Dallas, 3-4. The Falcons own a four-game lead in the NFC South division while the Cowboys share second in the NFC East.
Only two games Sunday match opponents with winning records, the feature attraction being Pittsburgh (4-3) at the New York Giants (6-2) in a matchup of two-time Super Bowl champion quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning.
Manning, who guided the Giants to a Super Bowl triumph in February over New England, has New York atop the NFC East while “Big Ben” has the Steelers one game behind arch-rival Baltimore in the AFC North.
The Steelers will not fly into the New York area until the day of the game because their hotel is still without electricity after Hurricane Sandy struck at the beginning of the week.
At Indianapolis, the Colts will play host to Miami in a matchup of 4-3 clubs that are both in playoff positions, second in their respective divisions.
Denver (4-3) will visit Cincinnati (3-4) with Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning trying to improve his career record against the host Bengals to 8-0.
Other games Sunday find Arizona at Green Bay, Chicago at Tennessee, Buffalo at Houston, Detroit at Jacksonville, Baltimore at Cleveland, Tampa Bay at Oakland, Carolina at Washington and Minnesota at Seattle.
Philadelphia will visit New Orleans on Monday while New England, St. Louis, San Francisco and the New York Jets have a bye week.