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Chiefs rookie tight end Travis Kelce scored Kansas City's only touchdown Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. Kelce led the Chiefs in receptions with seven catches for 84 yards. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

Chiefs rookie tight end Travis Kelce scored Kansas City’s only touchdown Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. Kelce led the Chiefs in receptions with seven catches for 84 yards. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

KC Chiefs 2Kansas City, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs Sunday defeated the San Diego Chargers 19-7 Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium here in the final game of the regular season.
The game gave Kansas City their second win over San Diego this year and left each team with a 9-7 record. Despite the win, due to results elsewhere Sunday, the Chiefs will not be in the NFL playoffs this year, but with the win Kansas City kept San Diego from being in the playoffs.
With the diagnosis of Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith having a ruptured spleen being announced Thursday, former Mizzou Tiger Chase Daniel became the starting quarterback on short notice. Chiefs cornerback Phillip Gaines also was out. However, Tamba Ali, Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe were “in,” despite being on the “injury list.”
While backup quarterback Daniel secured only one touchdown, he got the Chiefs close enough to the goal line to allow for four field goals. The Chiefs defense allowed only one San Diego touchdown and no field goals.
After San Diego was the starting receiver and went three and out, the Chiefs launched an 11-play drive that concluded with successful 42-yard field goal by Kansas City rookie kicker Cairo Santos.
Then with 9-play drive that started near the end of the first quarter, and that included two San Diego penalties, Dwayne Bowe almost had a touchdown, and fumbled before he crossed the goal line. However, rookie Travis Kelce recovered the fumble and ran for the touchdown. Score Chiefs 10, Chargers 0 with 12:50 left in the second quarter.
San_Diego_Chargers_Logo-1Then a 6-play 69-yard drive that included gains by wide receiver Eddie Royal and running back Branden Oliver concluded with a 1-yard touchdown run by Oliver and a PAT. Score Chiefs 10, Chargers 7. That would be all for the Chargers.
Next a drive that started with a 41-yard punt return by De’Anthony Thomas and a sack of quarterback Daniel concluded with a second Kansas Field goal, 41 yards, with 3:58 left in the half.
Following a San Diego drive that included a sack of quarterback Philip Rivers, a 7-play Kansas City drive concluded with a successful 27-yard field goal. Score: Chiefs 16, Chargers 7 with 33 seconds left in the half.
The Chiefs opened the third quarter with a three and out. Then a Chargers drive ended with a sack of Rivers and a fumble recovery by Chiefs inside linebacker Joe Mays. Daniel was sacked in the ensuing drive, but Santos still was successful with a 31-yard field goal with 8:24 left in the quarter.
Following three and outs by both sides, a 52-yard field goal attempt by San Diego kicker Nick Novak failed.
Starting the fourth quarter a Chiefs drive that included a 23-yard gain by De’Anthony Thomas and a Kansas City penalty concluded with a failed 50-yard field goal attempt by Santos.
Next a Chargers drive appeared to conclude with a touchdown by Royal, but that was overruled by officials. Subsequently a fourth down pass was tipped by Chiefs defensive back Husain Abdullah with 3:37 left in the game.
More sacks, another fourth down tip, and penalties and no more scores. Final score Chiefs 19, Chargers 7.
In the course of the game Daniel was sacked four times.
Rivers was sacked seven times, including four times by Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston. That gave Houston 22 sacks for the season, breaking the Chiefs record of 20 and falling half a sack shy of the NFL record.
For the Chiefs to earn a wild card berth in the playoffs the Cleveland Browns had to defeat the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens beat the Browns 20-10, giving them a 10-6 record and a playoff spot. The Browns ended with a 7-9 record.
And the Jacksonville Jaguars had to beat the Houston Texans. The Texans won 23-17 giving them a 9-7 record and the Jaguars a 3-13 record. (Neither will go to the playoffs, due to the Baltimore win.)
Next, the playoffs begin Jan. 3-4.
H.E.
(Click photos for larger view)
Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston sacks Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. Houston sacked Rivers four times Sunday and broke the Chiefs season record with a total of 22 sacks. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston sacks Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. Houston sacked Rivers four times Sunday and broke the Chiefs season record with a total of 22 sacks. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

Chiefs backup quarterback Chase Daniel, a former Mizzou Tiger, led Kansas City to victory Sunday.  He threw 16 completed passes for 157 yards. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

Chiefs backup quarterback Chase Daniel, a former Mizzou Tiger, led Kansas City to victory Sunday. He threw 16 completed passes for 157 yards. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

Chargers running back Branden Oliver scored San Diego's only touchdown Sunday. He led the Chargers in rushing Sunday with 14 carries for 71 yards. (San Diego Chargers photo)

Chargers running back Branden Oliver scored San Diego’s only touchdown Sunday. He led the Chargers in rushing Sunday with 14 carries for 71 yards. (San Diego Chargers photo)

Chiefs rookie kicker Cairo Santos Sunday kicked four field goals and missed one. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

Chiefs rookie kicker Cairo Santos Sunday kicked four field goals and missed one. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

Chargers running back Donal Brown was just behind Branden Oliver in rushing with 10 carries for 39 yards. (San Diego Chargers photo)

Chargers running back Donal Brown was just behind Branden Oliver in rushing with 10 carries for 39 yards. (San Diego Chargers photo)

Kansas City's De'Anthony Thomas had a 41-yard punt return in the second quarter and a 23-yard gain in the fourth quarter. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

Kansas City’s De’Anthony Thomas had a 41-yard punt return in the second quarter and a 23-yard gain in the fourth quarter. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

The Chiefs cheerleaders had something to cheer about Sunday.  (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

The Chiefs cheerleaders had something to cheer about Sunday. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt congratulates Justin Houston on his record breaking performance. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt congratulates Justin Houston on his record breaking performance. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

The Chiefs celebrate after the game Sunday. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

The Chiefs celebrate after the game Sunday. (Kansas City Chiefs photo)

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