The Chargers are back in the playoff hunt after an impressive shootout win over the Chiefs. Kansas City lost its second straight game in a high-scoring, back-and-forth contest. Each team had answers for the other's scores and combined for 79 points. Alex Smith and Philip Rivers fought to score and spread the ball around to their receivers. Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles was huge for Kansas City, while Rivers was able to will San Diego to victory with the help of running back Ryan Mathews and gadget guy Danny Woodhead.
Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride was impressed with the Chiefs' resiliency despite losing the team's two top pass rushers early in the game:
The Kansas City Chiefs lost a heartbreaker to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, 41-38. The Chiefs lost starters Tamba Hali and Justin Houston to injury in the first half yet stayed in the game to the point where Alex Smith's pass to Dwayne Bowe with 1:28 remaining gave Kansas City a 38-34 lead. However, the Chargers responded on the following drive with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Seyi Ajirotutu with just 24 seconds remaining, giving San DIego a 41-38 lead. The loss moves the Chiefs to 9-2 on the season while the Chargers are now 5-6.
John Gennaro of Bolts from the Blue thinks this game is Rivers' defining moment of the season:
There were plenty of players on the team that played well, but this was a defining game for Philip Rivers in 2013. Not only did he avoid turning the ball over, he managed to put up 392 passing yards and 3 touchdowns in the air. Most importantly, he came through when the team needed him most, trailing with less than 2 minutes left to go in the final quarter.
The Chargers go from a very depressing 4-6 record to an exciting, and promising, 5-6 record. Four of their final five games are at home, and most of those are very winnable. This game not only kept the Chargers playoff hopes alive, it proved that they have the ability to beat a playoff team if they get there. The Chiefs move to 9-2, losing their last two games to division rivals.