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Chiefs vs. Chargers: 10 Observations

Here are 10 things that stood out about the Chiefs win on Sunday

The Kansas City Chiefs (5-5) are back to .500 after their 33-3 win over the San Diego Chargers (2-8) on Sunday afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif.

The Chiefs have now won four straight games and have all kinds of momentum as they play four of their final six games at Arrowhead Stadium, including next week's matchup with the Buffalo Bills.

Here are 10 observations from the Chiefs win on Sunday:

1. Alex Smith had a big day for Chiefs offense

It was one of Alex Smith's better days as quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs.


He finished Sunday's game by completing 20 of 25 passes for 253 yards, and for the seventh straight game, he didn't throw an interception.

His 253 consecutive passes without an interception is a franchise record and the best mark for any quarterback in the NFL this season.

While the absence of a negative is hard to figure as a positive in and of itself, Smith's ability to move the offense down the field and put points on the board gave the Chiefs their fourth straight victory.

2. Justin Houston showed once again why he's an elite player

The Chiefs were leading 12-3 late in the third quarter and the Chargers were facing a first-and-10 on their own end of the field.

On the snap, Justin Houston was going after quarterback Philip Rivers.

Houston recognized that Rivers was about to dump it off right over his head on a screen pass—to which he quickly dropped off his pursuit of the sack and instead, put his hand in the air, deflected the pass and came down with the interception.

In a split second, Houston not only recognized what Rivers was trying to do, he reacted and made a play. He's more than just a pass rusher and this play showed an elite combination of instincts and athleticism.

Houston returned the interception 17 yards for the touchdown, which gave the Chiefs the 19-3 lead.

The Chiefs have at least 1 interception in five straight games.

3. Chiefs defense continues to dominate

The Chargers came into Sunday's game averaging 414 yards per game, which ranked as the fourth-best in the NFL.


Against the Chiefs on Sunday, they managed just 201—their lowest output of the season.

The Chargers offense didn't get into the red zone at any point during the game, and the closest they ever got to the end zone was the 34-yard line of the Chiefs.

Over the past six games, the Chiefs defense has allowed an average of just 12 points per game—the best in the NFL.

They've also caused 14 turnovers during that span.

They are dominating.

4. Eric Berry's physical play may have saved four points


Early in the second quarter, Rivers found receiver Stevie Johnson on a short pass on second-and-10 that had the look of a play that would pick up considerable yardage. That was until safety Eric Berry entered into the equation.

Berry split through two block attempts and tackled Johnson for a gain of just 3 yards, when 10-plus was very possible.

The third-down attempt failed and the Chargers had to settle for a 52-yard field goal.

Berry's outstanding play may have very likely saved the Chiefs some points.   

5. Dontari Poe scores an offensive touchdown. Yes,* Dontari Poe*

On fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line early in the game, the Chiefs brought in the Poe-heavy formation.

It's a play they've had in their arsenal for over a year and the time to call it had finally arrived.

Smith took the snap and gave it to his 346-pound nose tackle-turned-fullback, Dontari Poe, who is just a few months removed from back surgery. Poe went flying through the air and across the goal line to give the Chiefs the early 6-0 lead in the first quarter.

Poe became the heaviest player in the history of the NFL to ever score a touchdown.

It was glorious. It was everything.

It's the first offensive touchdown for a defensive player since Javier Arenas's 7-yard run against the Oakland Raiders back in 2011.

The run capped off a 9-play, 71-yard drive by the Chiefs.

6. West's 47-yard reception led Chiefs to first touchdown

He did it last week against the Denver Broncos and he did it again on Sunday against the Chargers.

Charcandrick West snuck out of the backfield and found himself wide open in the middle of the field on a little circle route, and 47 yards later, the Chiefs were in business.

Seven plays later, the Chiefs were up 6-0 after Poe's high-flying touchdown run, but it was West's nice catch-and-run from Smith that put the Chiefs within striking distance.

7. De'Anthony Thomas, Charcandrick West leave the game early with injuries

On the second offensive play of the game, De'Anthony Thomas took an end-around to the right side for a gain of 7 yards, but a hard hit caused his helmet to fly off and the referee immediately signaled for Thomas to get checked out.


He would not return after being evaluated for a concussion.

With Knile Davis declared inactive before the game, rookie Chris Conley became the primary kick returner and Jeremy Maclin handled the punt returning duties.

Later, West suffered a hamstring injury that caused him to miss the rest of the game. Coach Reid said after the game that West is day-to-day with the injury.

8. Dustin Colquitt led Chiefs to dominate field position battle

He makes it look really easy.

Dustin Colquitt had as dominant of a performance for a special teams player as you could ask for.

He led a crew that saw the Chargers have an average starting field position of the 15.4-yard line, which is one of the reasons they never got to the red zone.

The defense is playing dominant football and Colquitt is ensuring that offenses have to go the entire length of the field if they're going to score on this group.

Colquitt landed 4 of his 5 punts inside the 20-yard line. He finished the day with 5 punts for 203 yards (40.6 avg./40.6 net).

Photos from the Chiefs Week 11 matchup against the Chargers

9. Tamba Hali enters rare company

With his sack of Philip Rivers early in the third quarter, veteran linebacker Tamba Hali entered the top 50 on the NFL's all-time career sacks list.


He had 2 on the day and has now sacked Rivers 13.5 times in his career, which is the most of any player in his 10-year career.

Hali has 5.5 sacks this season and 85 in his career. He's just 2 shy of passing former great Neil Smith for second on the franchise's all-time list.

With his 2 sacks, Hali moves into second place in franchise history with 20 multi-sack performances, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Fame LB Derrick Thomas, who had 27.

10. Spencer Ware had an impressive day carrying the ball

West left the game early with a hamstring injury, Thomas left with a concussion and Davis wasn't active.

Therefore, it was Spencer Ware's time to show what he could do, and he was impressive.

On multiple runs, Ware showed excellent strength and balance to pick up additional yardage on the ground, both in the open field and also through traffic.

Ware finished the day with 11 carries for 96 yards and 2 touchdowns, including an impressive 9-yard run that saw him change directions multiple times, then fight through a tackle to gain another 2 yards for the first down. Midway through the fourth quarter, Ware took a first-down handoff 52 yards down the field, displaying the kind of speed and agility that general manager John Dorsey and his staff were so high on when they brought him up from the practice squad a month ago.

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