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Two defensive scores help Chargers blow past Chiefs

Philip Rivers

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers looks for a receiver against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of a NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)


The San Diego Chargers scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, including two defensive touchdowns, to cruise to a 31-13 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

With Norv Turner’s job security incredibly tenuous entering the game, the Chargers found themselves holding on to a 10-6 lead heading to the fourth quarter.

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers connected with Malcolm Floyd from 13 yards out to give the Chargers a 17-6 edge with just over 11 minutes to play.

Then the defense put the game away.

On the ensuing possession, Jarret Johnson stripped Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel in the endzone and Shaun Phillips recovered for another Chargers touchdown.

Cassel then watched a pass bounce off the hands of running back Dexter McCluster straight into the arms of linebacker Demorrio Williams that was returned 59 yards for a score as San Diego all of a sudden had a 31-6 lead on their way to getting back to .500 at 4-4.

The Chiefs find themselves at 1-7 and have now played eight full games and have yet to hold a lead at any point this season. Their only victory came on the final play of overtime against the New Orleans Saints in Week 3 when Succop hit a 31-yard game-winning field goal.

The Chargers offense came out firing against the Chiefs as Rivers led San Diego on a seven-play, 84-yard drive culminating in a 14-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates to quickly jump on top 7-0.

Rivers was nearly perfect in the first half starting the game 14 of 14 for 179 yards and a touchdown. But with the Chargers threatening in the redzone inside the final minute of the half, Rivers threw a pass away and then was intercepted by safety Eric Berry to keep it just a one-possession game going to the break.

As has been the case all season for Kansas City, they failed to take advantage. Ryan Succop saw his string of 14 straight field goals made come to an end with a missed 39-yard try in the third quarter. Succop did convert from 41 yards out to make it a 10-6 game headed to the fourth quarter, but the Chiefs couldn’t get out of their own way. The Chiefs turned the ball over four times on the night and are dead last in the league with 29 turnovers on the year. The Dallas Cowboys are next on the list with 19.

Rivers finished 18 of 20 for 220 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.

Cassel actually managed the game well and had the Chiefs in striking distance before the Chargers capitalized on Kansas City mistakes. Cassel was 19 of 29 for 181 yards and an interception on the night.

The Chargers travel to Tampa Bay next week while the Chiefs head to Pittsburgh.