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THE NFL / 1996

Against Chargers, Chief Problem Is Everything

AFC: Nothing works as Bono is benched and fans at Arrowhead Stadium leave early.

November 25, 1996|From Associated Press

KANSAS CITY — This city isn't Los Angeles. Fans here aren't known for leaving games early.

But they did Sunday, as the Chiefs lost to the San Diego Chargers, 28-14.

The game wasn't nearly as close as the score indicates. The Chargers dominated for 3 1/2 quarters before backup Chief quarterback Rich Gannon threw two touchdown passes.

Late in the third quarter, with the Chiefs trailing, 28-0, and facing fourth and 10 at the Charger 44, starting quarterback Steve Bono misfired badly.

Suddenly, Arrowhead Stadium looked like it was located in Los Angeles, as fans in the sellout crowd began streaming out in hordes.

"I don't know what happened, but I'll take it," said Charger Coach Bobby Ross. "I never expected to dominate Kansas City."

The Chargers allowed no sacks and they had only two penalties and no turnovers.

Stan Humphries, beating cornerback Dale Carter, threw two touchdown passes to Tony Martin and kept one drive alive with a 55-yard pass to Martin, who had one of his best days with five catches for 148 yards.

Said Carter, who's been to the last two Pro Bowls, "I just got my butt beat . . . Mentally, I was just out of it. I just flat didn't know what to do out there today."

The Chiefs, who had given up a league-low average of 52.6 rushing yards and 12 points while winning their previous three games, allowed 350 total yards in the first three quarters.

By pulling Bono, Coach Marty Schottenheimer may have unwittingly created a quarterback controversy. Asked who will start when the Chiefs play at Detroit on Thanksgiving Day, Schottenheimer said, "I'll make that decision later on," and then added, "We have no quarterback controversy."

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