Chiefs vs. Chargers: 10 Observations

The Kansas City Chiefs (9-7) beat the San Diego Chargers (9-7) by a score of 19-7 Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium

Here are a few things that stood out about Sunday's game:

1. Chiefs finish season at 9-7

For the first time since 2003, the Kansas City Chiefs swept the season series from the San Diego Chargers with their 19-7 win on Sunday.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid finishes his second season with the Chiefs with a winning record, and the back-to-back winning seasons under Reid is just the third time they've done that in more than two decades.

It's also the best two-year start for any Chiefs head coach in franchise history, including Hank Stram and Marty Schottenheimer.

While both Baltimore and Houston, teams the Chiefs needed to lose, won their games on Sunday, the Chiefs took care of their business.

2. Justin Houston's record-breaking day

The Chiefs franchise leader for sacks in a season is now Justin Houston, whose four-sack performance on Sunday propelled him over former Chiefs great and Hall of Famer, Derrick Thomas.

Houston came into the game needing just three sacks to break the record, and his 22 sacks this season ties him for second best in NFL history.

In the locker room after the game when asked about the record, Houston's first response was that he'd trade it in for a spot in the playoffs.

3. Chase Daniel's hot start

Early in the game, Chiefs starting quarterback Chase Daniel helped the offense race out to a 10-0 lead.

Daniel, who only had two days of practice with the first-team offense after it was announced on Friday that Alex Smith would be out with a lacerated spleen, finished the first half 13 of 17 for 117 yards, including 9 of 9 to begin the game. 

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4. Chiefs defense proved to be an elite group once again

The Chiefs defense finished the regular season as the only group in the NFL that didn't allow a 300-yard passer, a 50-yard completion or 30 points in a game this season.

Also, the Chiefs finished as the best red-zone defense in the NFL. Coming into the game ranked No. 1 at 39 percent, the Chiefs defense held the Chargers into just 1 of 3 inside the 20-yard line on Sunday.

5. Jamaal Charles over 1,000 yards, again

For the fifth time in his career, Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles went over 1,000 yards rushing. He was already the franchise leader with four such seasons, but after his 13-carry, 54-yard performance against the Chargers, Charles just adds to an already long list of accomplishments for the Chiefs.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid did say in the postgame press conference that Charles had a hamstring issue that hindered his ability to come back into the game in the second half and make an impact.

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6. Fourth-quarter domination

The Chiefs defense finishes the regular season as the best fourth-quarter defense in the NFL, allowing just 51 points all season in the fourth quarter.

Against the Chargers on Sunday, the Chiefs didn't allow any points in the fourth quarter despite the Chargers getting inside the red zone three different times.

It was two fourth-down stops by the defense that kept Philip Rivers and the Chargers from scoring.

The first was a pass defensed by Husain Abdullah on tight end Antonio Gates, and the second was a fourth-down run up the middle that was stuffed for no-gain by the Chiefs' front seven.

7. Sack City

Houston wasn't the only Chiefs player that got to Rivers on Sunday.

The Chiefs had five different players record at least a partial sack against the Chargers.

Josh Mauga and Dee Ford both recorded a half-sack, while Allen Bailey and Dontari Poe each recorded one sack of Rivers as well.

Photos of all of Justin Houston's sacks this season

8. Kelce leads the receiving group

Daniel's favorite target on Sunday was tight end Travis Kelce, who finished the game with a team-high seven catches on eight targets for 84 yards.

Daniel completed 16 passes on the day and almost half (7) of them went to Kelce.

Kelce finished the season as the Chiefs' leading receiver with 67 receptions for 862 yards, including five touchdowns receiving.

9. Cairo Santos sets rookie record

After going four of five on field goals Sunday, Cairo Santos passed former Chiefs' great Jan Stenerud with 112 points for the season, which is a franchise record for a rookie kicker.

Santos also tied Ryan Succop for most field goals in a rookie season with 25. Santos finished the season 25 of 30 (83.3 percent) on field goal attempts.

10. De'Anthony Thomas continues to be special

Thomas finished the game with four punt returns for 69 yards, including a 41-yard scamper that gave the Chiefs fantastic field position at the 12-yard line, which the Chiefs converted into three points and gave them the 13-7 lead late in the second quarter.

Coming into the game, Thomas and the Chiefs punt return unit ranked No. 1 in the NFL in number of punt returns of 20 yards or more at 10.

On the day, Thomas touched the ball a total of eight times for 115 yards, or 14.3 yards per touch.

Photos from the Chiefs Week 17 matchup against the Chargers

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