Houston's pick-6, Poe's TD run carry Chiefs over Chargers
And the San Diego Chargers? Their free-fall shows no sign of letting up.
Dontari Poe, a 346-pound tackle, scored a 1-yard touchdown on fourth down and linebacker Justin Houston returned an interception 17 yards for a touchdown as the Kansas City Chiefs embarrassed the Chargers 33-3 Sunday.
With Alex Smith victorious again at Qualcomm Stadium, the Chiefs (5-5) won their fourth straight game following a five-game losing streak.
The Chargers (2-8) lost their sixth straight.
The Chiefs brought some defensive heat, even on offense.
After Charcandrick West was stuffed from the 1-yard line on third down on the Chiefs' second possession, they went on fourth down, this time giving the ball to Poe. He got air and went in for his first NFL TD.
''I smelled the end zone, man,'' he said. ''At that point you've got to do whatever you need to get in there. I saw a couple of bodies there and didn't want to take a chance. So I just did it man.''
Poe is the heaviest NFL player to score an offensive touchdown, according to STATS.
''I needed it. I loved it. My eyes lit up,'' Poe said.
Said Houston, with a laugh: ''I told him I earned my touchdown. His touchdown was given.''
It was Houston's first TD, as well.
Houston had four of Kansas City's seven sacks of Rivers in the 2014 season finale in which the Chargers were eliminated from the playoff race.
Here are some things that stood out in the Chiefs' rout of the Chargers:
MR. SMITH RETURNS TO SAN DIEGO: Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, who led Helix High to consecutive city championships at Qualcomm Stadium, completed 20 of 25 passes for 253 yards. He also ran seven times for 33 yards.
There's a chance this was Smith's last appearance at Qualcomm Stadium. Chargers chairman Dean Spanos has infuriated fans with his intention to move the team to an industrial suburb of Los Angeles, which would require approval of fellow owners.
Smith broke Steve DeBerg's team record of 233 consecutive passes without an interception. Smith threw his 234th straight pass without a pick on a 47-yard completion to West. Smith extended his record to 253.
CHARGERS MELTDOWN: Rivers had his worst game of the season, going 19 of 30 for just 178 yards. Tight end Antonio Gates was seen jawing at the quarterback on the sideline in the first half.
''Really what was said really doesn't matter,'' Rivers said. ''Brothers fuss and fight, for any of you that have brothers. And I Iove Antonio and I think he will tell you the same thing.''
Rivers said Sunday's face-plant ''is about as tough as it gets and not like it hasn't been tough the last five. This one, it gets even worse.''
EFFORT QUESTIONED: Some observers wondered if some Chargers didn't play the full 60 minutes. ''''I will watch the film and look at it,'' coach Mike McCoy said. ''I want each individual to watch that film and for 60 minutes, `What did I do for 60 minutes.' ... It means something to play in this game and you need to look in the mirror first and see how you finished that game, and you answer it yourself.''
San Diego's only score was a 52-yard field goal by rookie Josh Lambo.
HONORING L.T.: At halftime, the Chargers inducted former running back LaDainian Tomlinson into their Hall of Fame and retired his No. 21. When Tomlinson mentioned the Chargers organization, fans booed. When he mentioned the fans, they cheered. Tomlinson joins Hall of Famers Dan Fouts (14) and Lance Alworth (19), and the late Junior Seau (55) as having their numbers retired.
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