The Chargers searched for their first win of the season after starting 0-2, losing to the Broncos and Dolphins. The Bolts faced the Kansas City Chiefs who've been on the winning tandem, defeating the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.
Once again the Bolts came up short against the Chiefs 24-10 in front of a sellout crowd of 25,386 at Stub Hub Center. Running back Kareem Hunt on a hand off from Alex Smith, scored on a 69-yard touchdown run which proved to be a dagger in the final quarter.
During the national anthem, many of the Charger players and coaches locked arms showing solidarity against the Donald Trump tirade against those who protest the anthem. Linebacker Melvin Ingram, Chris McCain and Darius Philon all took a knee.
It took less than two minutes on the opening quarter drive, as Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith to found Tyrek Hill on a deep 30 yard pass to his right for the touchdown. The drive began with a Terrence Mitchell interception on a Philip Rivers pass.
After another Rivers pass was intercepted by Marcus Peters where he ran it back to the Chargers 34-yard line. Rivers didn't throw an interception through his first three games in 2016. He now has three in first nine quarters.
Ironically, Rivers has thrown for 5,669 yards against the Chiefs which is more yards than any other team in the AFC West.
Due to poor tackling by Chargers defense, Kareem Hunt fought for 11 yards to keep the Chiefs drive alive. Which allowed Smith to release a short pass to the middle to Albert Wilson for the six yard touchdown and the 14-0 lead.
The Chiefs outscored the opposition by 22 points, as they moved to 2-0 on the year for the first time since 2013. Kansas City have won six straight games over the Chargers dating back to 2014.
The Bolts drive remained alive, as Rivers launched a spectacular pass to Travis Benjamin for a 44 yard gain. On the very next play, Rivers came out of the shotgun, and found Gordon who ran to his right down the sidelines for the 11 yard touchdown run. Los Angeles scored just before the end of the first quarter.
It appeared after sacks by Ingram and Bosa that the Chiefs were forced to settle for a missed 51 yard field goal. However the Bolts bailed out Kansas City thanks to a roughing the kicker penalty that gave new life to the drive. Unable to get into the end zone, the Chiefs would later settle for a Cairo Santos 34 yard field goal late in the second quarter.
Rivers settled down and found his rhythm as he picked apart the Chiefs defense, driving the Bolts down the field into the red zone. After a crucial offensive penalty, the Bolts settled for a 29 yard field goal by Younghow Koo just before halftime.
Ingram and Joey Bosa have combined for 13 sacks in the last five games. Ingram who looked absolutely unstoppable had 3 sacks on the day for Los Angeles.
With Gordon's knee injury, the Bolts offensive became stagnant in the second unable to complete a scoring drive. Gordon did return to the game in the final quarter, but was not significantly effective.
Kareem Hunt continued to be a slight force for the Chiefs, yet in a similar manner he watched Smith come up short against a tenacious Chargers defense. Hunt led the NFL in rushing through two weeks with 229 yards, finished with 172 yards rushing on 17 carries and a touchdown on Sunday.
While the Chiefs remain undefeated, the Chargers will search for answers in order to find their first win of the season.
Philip Rivers did not have the best game of the early season, as he completed 15 of 32 passes for 177 yards passing and no touchdowns.
Alex Smith completed 16-21 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns on the day. Smith is 6-1 against the Bolts, and has thrown 18 touchdowns and just one interception since 2013.