While it was just one game, the San Diego Chargers righted the ship and then some Sunday afternoon in Kansas City, rolling to a 37-20 victory over the hapless Chiefs. With the win, San Diego goes to 3-1, maintaining a one-game lead over Denver in the AFC West.
In a game that saw the Chargers force six turnovers against their AFC West rivals, San Diego rebounded following last Sunday’s 27-3 debacle at home against Atlanta. Remember, however, it is just one game and one win.
On the bright side on this early fall afternoon:
* San Diego not only forced turnovers, but capitalized on them too (24 points off six Chief miscues);
* Philip Rivers had a good game (18-of-23, 209 yards passing) despite throwing one interception. Rivers passed for a pair of TD’s and did a good job of running an offense that was especially effective on the ground. Rivers went over 25,000 career yards in passing, joining San Diego greats Dan Fouts and Jon Hadl in that achievement;
* After one of his costliest fumbles of his young career in the loss to the Falcons last week, running back Ryan Mathews bounced back with a solid game (14 carries, 61 yards). Running back Jackie Battle also played well (15 carries, 39 yards, 1 TD; 4 receptions, 42 yards, 1 TD) against his former team, as the Chargers did a good job of chewing up valuable time on the clock;
* Nick Novak was 3-of-3 on field goals, along with not missing any extra points in filling in for the injured Nate Kaeding;
* On defense, Quentin Jammer led the Bolts with 8 tackles, with Donald Butler, Antoine Cason and Eric Weddle each grabbing a Matt Cassel interception. Butler’s pick resulted in a touchdown off an errant Cassel throw.
On the down side:
* San Diego’s offense struggled mightily in the third quarter, going three-and-out on its possessions. For a team that needs to come out of intermission and put a team away, Chargers did not do that until the fourth quarter;
* Chargers were only 3-of-12 on third down possessions, something that could have hurt them had it been a tight game.
So, with a 2-0 record now against the AFC West (beat Oakland in the opener), the Chargers have a non-conference visit to New Orleans next Sunday, then host Peyton Manning and the Broncos on Oct. 15.
While this win was a nice rebound from the Atlanta loss, it is just one win.
Yes, the old cliche of one game at a time does apply here.