Turnovers Cost Chiefs Against San Diego

Published 10/01 2012 12:02AM

Updated 10/01 2012 12:10AM

(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) In front of celebrated former Chiefs, the current Kansas City squad had the opportunity to vault into the lead in the AFC West.

But, in a league where turnovers can be a momentum-killer, the Chiefs became too familiar with that statistic. 

Kansas City coughed up three fumbles and three interceptions as they fell to San Diego 37-20 on Sunday.

The Chiefs (1-3) entered the game without having led at any point in regulation this season. That streak continues heading into next week.

The Chargers (3-1) got on the board first as Philip Rivers found Eddie Royal on a four-yard slant route.

Then, after a quick three-and-out from the Chiefs offense, Nick Novak connected on a 24-yard field goal, giving the Chargers a 10-0 advantage. 

On the ensuing possession, the ball was ripped away from Jamaal Charles. The Chargers recovered inside the red zone for the first Chiefs turnover of the afternoon.

It only took two plays to punch it in as Jackie Battle, who played five seasons in a Kansas City uniform, drove in behind the right guard for a one-yard touchdown run with 6:12 left in the first quarter.  

The Chiefs failed to score on their final drive of the frame and again early in the second, allowing Novak to nail his second field goal of the day, a 47-yarder, to put the Chargers up 20-0. 

The troubles resumed for Charles immediately on the next drive. His second fumble was recovered by Corey Liuget. 

Rivers then drove San Diego into Chiefs territory again, but Kansas City returned the favor as Brandon Flowers intercepted a pass just outside the end zone. It was Flowers' first pick of the season.  

Attempting to pump some life into the offense, Charles took a handoff the width of the field and 37 yards to the corner of the end zone. That cut the deficit to 20-7 at the 7:28 mark of the second.  

Matt Cassel failed to gain positive yardage on the following drive, however. Instead, his pass was picked off by Donald Butler, who returned it 21 yards for a score.  

Down 27-7, the Chiefs put together a promising 5-play, 73-yard drive to the San Diego 22. But, that drive also ended in a turnover as Antoine Cason hauled in the Chargers' second interception of the day. That handed them the 20-point cushion after the first half.  

After receiving to start the third quarter, Cassel lead the Chiefs on their most successful drive of the day.  A 13-yard completion to Charles capped off 13-play, 80-yard drive that brought the score to 27-13. 

After the Chiefs defense forced a trio of consecutive three-and-outs, the offense got another opportunity to cut the score to one possession.  However, Shaun Draughn fumbled at midfield and Atari Bigby recovered for San Diego.  

Rivers then drove the Chargers 49 yards and sent a 4-yard scoring strike to Battle for the running back's second touchdown on the day with 2:35 gone in the fourth.

Kansas City slugged back as Cassel managed to find Dwayne Bowe, who took a jump ball into the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown completion.

But, they could get no closer after Novak knocked through his third field goal and gave the Chargers a 37-20 lead.  

Cassel went 24-for-42 for 251 yards, two scores and three interceptions. Rivers completed 18-of-23 for 201 yards, a pair of touchdowns and one pick.  

The Chiefs will be at Arrowhead Stadium again next week to host Baltimore.  

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