Chargers free-fall continues with 33-3 loss to Chiefs
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Chargers’ free-fall continues. It’s hard to say they’ve hit rock bottom because there are six games left.
There was a certainly a meltdown on Sunday, when the Chargers were embarrassed 33-3 by AFC West rival Kansas City, their sixth straight loss.
Chargers tight end Antonio Gates was seen jawing at quarterback Philip Rivers on the sideline in the first half.
Rivers threw his fourth pick-6 of the season, serving up a 17-yard interception return for a touchdown by linebacker Justin Houston.
The Chiefs literally piled on, as 346-pound defensive tackle Dontari Poe came in on fourth-and-goal from the 1 and leaped over the pile to score a TD in the first quarter.
Yes, the Chargers (2-8) are a mess. Have they hit rock bottom?
“It really doesn’t matter. Who cares what I think?” Rivers said.
So what’s to play for?
“I think it’s just about being a pro at this point. Are you going to be a man and come to work every day and do your job? I think that is what it is,” Rivers said. “The ball is going to get kicked off next Sunday and Jacksonville sure the heck isn’t going to feel sorry for us. If we want to keep getting embarrassed like this, then we can lollygag around and we will. They will beat us just like this if we have this approach.”
The Chiefs (5-5) won their fourth straight game following a five-game losing streak.
Rivers had his worst game of the season, going 19 of 30 for just 178 yards. Rivers attempted a pass to Danny Woodhead from the Chargers 23 and Houston intercepted it and ran it in for a 19-3 lead with 3:27 left in the third quarter.
“That was a heck of a play by him,” Rivers said. “It’s my fault, but I don’t know if there is anything I could have done. It was a great play by him.”
Houston had four of Kansas City’s seven sacks of Rivers in the 2014 season finale in which the Chargers were eliminated from the playoff race.
Rivers was sacked three times Sunday, twice by Tamba Hali.
Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith, who led Helix High to consecutive city championships at Qualcomm Stadium, completed 20 of 25 passes for 253 yards. He also ran seven times for 33 yards.
There’s a chance this was Smith’s last appearance at Qualcomm Stadium. Chargers chairman Dean Spanos has infuriated fans with his intention to move the team to an industrial suburb of Los Angeles, which would require approval of fellow owners.
Smith broke Steve DeBerg’s team record of 233 consecutive passes without an interception. Smith threw his 234th straight pass without a pick on a 47-yard completion to running back Charcandrick West. Smith extended his record to 253.
This is the Chargers’ 20th non-winning season in 32 years of Spanos family ownership,
The Chiefs turned to Poe to cap their second drive. The 6-foot-3 defender leaped over the pile to score for a 6-0 lead. The PAT failed. His run came one play after Charcandrick West was stuffed.
Cairo Santos kicked field goals of 28 and 24 yards, and Spencer Ware had two 3-yard TD runs in the fourth quarter.
San Diego’s only score was a 52-yard field goal by rookie Josh Lambo.
The Chargers dropped to 20-22 in three seasons under coach Mike McCoy.
“Obviously that was a bad day of Chargers football in all three phases,” McCoy said. “We didn’t make any plays. It was very poor. That was the last thing I thought. ... You never think that is ever going to happen as a football coach.”
Did the team quit?
“I will watch the film and look at it,” McCoy said. “I want each individual to watch that film and for 60 minutes, ‘What did I do for 60 minutes.’ ... It means something to play in this game and you need to look in the mirror first and see how you finished that game, and you answer it yourself.”
At halftime, the Chargers inducted running back LaDainian Tomlinson into their Hall of Fame and retired his No. 21.
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