One of the reasons that Chargers QB Philip Rivers was able to have such a precise night throwing the ball on Thursday was because the Chiefs’ coverage was lacking and the pass rush, which was OK at times, wasn’t enough to compensate for what was happening on the back end.
The Chiefs have discovered this season that losing CB Brandon Carr in free agency not only stings because it has taken a good player off the field, but also because it has pushed Travis Daniels and Javier Arenas each up one slot on the depth chart. With Stanford Routt — who has had his fair share of critics this season — out of the lineup in Week Nine, Daniels started and was picked on and picked apart. The Chargers seemed to target Daniels every chance they could, and when they didn’t it was Arenas who most often was being victimized.
Chargers WR Malcom Floyd got the best of Daniels in man coverage on a fade for the touchdown that would end up being the game-winning score. But Daniels couldn’t locate the ball, which was thrown too far (not back-shoulder enough to be called precise) inside and probably should have been knocked down by a more aware corner. Arenas had his problems in the nickel in both pass coverage and run support.
SS Eric Berry was victimized a few times on the Chargers’ first drive, and hasn’t had the best season coming off ACL surgery, but he responded from that to put up a fine game overall, including a pick in the endzone before the half and a great tackle for loss on a play that could have gained several yards had Berry missed it. But it wasn’t enough to compensate for the other deficiencies in the secondary.