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NFL: Chargers top lifeless Chiefs

Published November 1, 2012 10:35 pm

NFL • Gates' TD snaps San Diego's streak of six scoreless quarters.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

San Diego • Norv Turner can breathe a little easier after his San Diego Chargers rediscovered the end zone and ended a three-game losing streak.

Romeo Crennel, though, will surely feel the heat after his Kansas City Chiefs committed four more turnovers and lost their fifth straight game.

Antonio Gates caught a 14-yard yard scoring pass from Philip Rivers on the game's opening drive to snap a streak of six straight quarters without a touchdown and the Chargers went on to a 31-13 victory over the staggering Chiefs on Thursday night.

Turner had been heavily criticized by fans after the Chargers (4-4) blew double-digit, second-half leads in losses to New Orleans and Denver, and then lost 7-6 at Cleveland on Sunday.

Still, at the start of halftime, some fans in one end zone unfurled a big yellow banner that read: "Mr. Spanos, please fire A.J. & Norv."

Team president Dean Spanos decided in January to bring back both Turner and general manager A.J. Smith even though the Chargers missed the playoffs for the second straight year.

Rivers, who looked shaky during the losing streak, did his part by completing 18 of 20 passes — a career-best 90 percent — for 220 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception. Rivers also threw a 13-yard TD pass to Malcom Floyd early in the fourth quarter.

The Chiefs' four turnovers ran their NFL-high mark to a staggering 29, which have led to 104 points.

The Chiefs (1-7) still haven't led in regulation this season. Their only victory came when Ryan Succop kicked the winning field goal against the Saints in overtime.

With the Chiefs trailing 17-6, Matt Cassel fumbled as he was sacked by San Diego's Jarret Johnson in the end zone and Shaun Phillips recovered for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. On the next drive, Cassel's high pass deflected off Dexter McCluster's hands and was intercepted by Demorrio Williams, who returned it 59 yards for a touchdown.

Williams, who played for the Chiefs the last four seasons, forced a fumble in the first quarter.

The Chiefs had six turnovers in a 37-20 home loss to the Chargers on Sept. 30.

In just 2 minutes, 9 seconds, the Chargers' defense scored as many touchdowns as the offense has in 10 quarters.