The Chiefs raced out to a 14-3 lead on the Los Angeles Chargers in Sunday's season opener and never really faced a challenge in a 38-28, but Los Angeles quarterback Philip Rivers says drops and misfires from his offense cost his team a big game.
“Today we should have thrown for 600, which is crazy to say,” Rivers said. “We should have thrown for 600 yards in an NFL game. We just didn’t get it done. I had a couple just a hair underthrown. We had a couple we didn’t bring down.”
Rivers completed 34 of 51 passes on the day for 424 and three touchdowns, but it indeed could have been more. The Chargers had four deep balls that could have gone for big gains and possibly touchdowns, but the ball slipped through the hands of receivers and fell harmlessly to the turf.
Keenan Allen did his part for the Chargers, hauling in eight catches for 108 yards and a touchdown in the biggest game of his career against the Chiefs. But he said the Chargers were their own worst enemy on Sunday.
“Shot ourselves in the foot,” Allen said. “Bad execution. We just have to clean some things up.”
Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn found himself at a loss to describe the dropped passes. He mentioned the heat as a possible factor. Temperatures reached into the 80s in Los Angels Sunday afternoon, but thermometers on the StubHub Center field topped 100.
“It can be just guys putting pressure on themselves trying to make a play and wanting to make a play for their team,” Lynn said. “They’re not trying to drop those passes.”
Rivers said he didn't talk about the drops with his receivers during the game.
“Maybe that’s just my quarterback philosophy, but if I dropped one I wouldn’t want to have somebody tell me, ‘Come on, make the catch,’ Rivers said. “We know. Just like somebody tells me, ‘Come on, you have to make that throw.’ I know, and I think the receivers know me, we know each other well enough that we know.”
Chiefs safety Ron Parker said the team's defense has room to improve after surrendering 28 points and 541 yards of offense.
“We have a lot of things to do to get better as a defense,” Parker said. “We gave up some stuff today and I think we can get better. It is just the first week. We have to go back and get better.”