In the first of the quarter-final games of my 2016 tournament, the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the San Diego Chargers 31-21 to advance to the AFC Championship Game. And, they did it primarily with defense. In the first half, Charger quarterback Philip Rivers threw three interceptions, the most costly was returned by Kansas City’s Derrick Johnson 89 yards for a touchdown.
But, even though the Chiefs held a commanding 17-0 halftime lead, Rives and the Chargers battled back. In the second half he threw for two TD’s and ran for another to bring San Diego within three points with 2:45 left.
A failed onside kick coupled with a couple of big Kansas City plays, culminating in Spencer Ware’s second touchdown run of the game, sealed the deal for the Chiefs, who now face the winner of the Pittsburgh-New England contest for the AFC title.