Top Defensive Player: Donald Butler
Donald was the player of the game on defense! Donald did what he always does week in and week out: make plays! Whether it was in the run game and tackling Jamaal Charles behind the line or near the line of scrimmage countless times and just lighting him up in the fourth quarter causing him to leave the game with a neck injury; putting pressure on and tackling Matt Cassel and deflecting passes; or throwing McCluster to the ground on a wildcat play that went nowhere and stripping the football from Dwayne Bowe (which was the first turnover of the night for the Chiefs), Donald rocked the D. And did you notice his nine tackles in this game? That’s right – NINE!
The Chargers defense as a whole played a great game all over, flying around to the football and full of energy. They pressured Cassel, deflected passes, kept Jamaal Charles to just 39 yards rushing, and caused three turnovers. Two of those turnovers were turned into points – an interception catch by Demario Williams, and a strip/sack fumble caused by Jarrett Johnson and recovered in the end zone for a touchdown by Shaun Phillips. Both those turnovers happened in a span of two minutes in the fourth quarter. Awesome job defense!
Top Veteran Player: Philip Rivers
Philip had a very solid game on Thursday night. Whereas in his game against the Browns where the location of the football was off on his throws, in this game he was right on target with his location with throws to Gates, including the touchdown pass, his pass to Ajirotutu where he made a nice diving catch early in the first quarter, and throws to Malcom Floyd as well. He got all his receivers involved in this game and was smart with the ball, except for a bad throw on what would have been a scoring drive in the end zone right before halftime.
Most if not all of his throws were short- or mid-range passes. You could see Rivers confident in his throws, and afterward hyping himself up when he had some big plays from the receivers after they caught the football or his touchdown passes. This was a good game for Rivers to hopefully get back to how we know he is capable of playing. We’ll see if he carries this over to next week against Tampa Bay. Rivers’ final stats in the game were: 18/20 for 220 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.
Top Special Teams Player: Darrell Stuckey
Stuckey made some great plays on punt plays with making a diving catch on Mike Scifre’s punt and pinning the Chiefs on their own seven-yard line. Another play came in the fourth quarter with 1:57 left in the game when he recovered Dexter McCluster’s fumble on his attempt to return the punt from Mike Scifres. That play was the last nail on the coffin for the Chiefs.
Top Offensive Players: Chargers Offense
Everyone on the Chargers offense was involved in this game and all got the football multiple times. Gates had some great catches early on to get things started, most importantly with the first touchdown in the game. Malcom Floyd also had a touchdown catch, not to mention some good catches to move the chains. The running backs had a productive game as well, with Mathews, Battle, and Ronnie Brown moving the chains with runs on the ground and catching short passes in the passing game. Mathews had a nice 31-yard breakout run at the end of the third quarter that sparked a nice drive by all three running backs at the start of the fourth quarter. All three got to run with the football for seven straight plays which ended with a touchdown pass to Malcom Floyd.
Top Rookie: Melvin Ingram
Melvin had a couple good plays where he chased down and tackled Jamaal Charles on that first turnover in the first quarter, kept Charles to a one-yard gain in the first quarter, or just stopping Peyton Hillis in the third quarter for a loss behind the line of scrimmage.
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