Philip Rivers on fumbled snap: 'This one's rough'
We hear it all the time: To win a football game, you have to do the little things.
That includes successfully handling the snap.
The Chargers got a painful reminder of that Monday, when a botched exchange between center Nick Hardwick and quarterback Philip Rivers led to a shocking turnover when San Diego was in position to win at Kansas City with 48 seconds left in regulation. The Chargers were at the Chiefs' 15-yard line and could have won with a chip-shot field goal.
Instead, the Chiefs recovered the loose ball and wound up winning in overtime, 23-20. That knotted the AFC West even closer with the Chiefs, Chargers and Oakland Raiders at 4-3, with Denver trailing at 2-5.
To say Rivers was deeply disappointed during his postgame news conference wouldn't do it justice. He was to blame for the fumble, as it looked as if he clenched his hand just before the ball hit it.
"We didn't have an issue the whole game," he said of the snap exchange. "Haven't had an issue in years. This one's rough. Any loss, you'd like to have throws back, couple interceptions, another turnover... but when you know you're a minute away from leaking the clock and kicking a field goal to end it, after the way we fought back, and then you blow it on something that should never happen..."
More bad news for the Chargers: They get the 7-0 Green Bay Packers, the league's only undefeated team, on Sunday, while the Chiefs get the 0-7 Miami Dolphins. The Raiders play host to Denver.
-- Sam Farmer
Photo: Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers recovers a fumble after he was hit in the pocket. Credit: John Sleezer / McClatchy-Tribune