No Qualms About Winning Ugly

HC Norv Turner (Jeff Gross/Getty)

Wins are too hard to come by in the NFL. That's why the Chargers had no intentions of throwing back Sunday's 20-19 verdict over the Chiefs.

So what if the Chiefs have now lost 17 of their past 18 games. Who cares if San Diego had to turn back a two-point-conversion attempt in the final 23 seconds.

And if Tyler Thigpen looked more like Len Dawson than he should have, so be it.

The Chargers are alive, and that's what really matters.

But a closer look reveals that San Diego continues to live on the edge.

Coming off a bye, playing under a new defensive coordinator and playing at home with a playoff spot potentially slipping away, the Chargers barely managed to hold off the last-place Chiefs.

"The most important thing for us was to find a way to win a football game," coach Norv Turner said. "And we were able to do that."


SS Clinton Hart
Stephen Dunn/Getty

He even threw a bone to the defense, which nearly let the game slip away late but held Kansas City to six points in the final two quarters.

"In the second half, I like the way our defense responded," Turner said, eluding all but the final Chiefs possession. "We came out and were aggressive and covered better.

"In the first half we had some of the same issues we've had; we busted a coverage which gave them a big play."

But he sees improvement, and the Chargers will need to build on that if they hope to spring an upset Sunday at Pittsburgh.

Before looking ahead, the Chargers can look back one last time and embrace a win that came after an unlikely struggle.

"I would prefer the game didn't come down to the last play," Turner said, "but it did."

NOTES, QUOTES

--WR Malcom Floyd continues to take advantage of his opportunities. With Chris Chambers easing into play Sunday, Floyd got more reps and responded with this third scoring catch of the season.

"I'm just trying to go out there and play fast and compete," he said. "I'm just trying to win games." Floyd had four catches for 76 yards.

--SS Clinton Hart likely got away with holding Chiefs' TE Tony Gonzalez on Sunday with Kansas City going for the go-ahead two-point conversion. Gonzalez said Hart's hold was "ridiculous."

Hart just smiled. "I held my ground, and when he tried to push me off, I said, 'No, I'm not going to let you push me off,'" Hart said. "It's a veteran move."

--Once again the Chargers' running attack had trouble getting untracked. LaDainian Tomlinson gained only 78 yards on 22 carries; he's gone over the 100-yard mark just twice through nine games. "We got the win, and I don't want to harp on the negative part of the game because we did get a win," Tomlinson said.

--TE Antonio Gates had a season-high eight catches in the win over the Chiefs. He added a touchdown, which gives him a team-best six on the year.

PLAYER NOTES

--WR Chris Chambers didn't suffer any setbacks with his sprained ankle Sunday and is a go for this week.

--CB Antonio Cromartie played nearly the entire game with a sore hip and could have his practice time cut down this week.

--CB Cletis Gordon, who started in place of Antonio Cromartie, sustained a sprained knee and could be out two to three weeks.

--DT Jamal Williams has a chest contusion but should play Sunday.

--S Steve Gregory suffered a concussion and will be evaluated later in the week.

--RB LaDainian Tomlinson went past O.J. Simpson and Corey Dillon to reach No. 15 on the NFL's all-time rushing list. Tomlinson has 11,279 yards. John Riggins (11,236) is up next on the list.

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