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Pro Football Week 3 | KANSAS CITY 23, SAN DIEGO 7

Nothing Goes Right as Leaf Reaches a Low

September 21, 1998|From Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two days after Ryan Leaf got out of the hospital, things game took a turn for the worse.

The previously undefeated rookie quarterback completed his first throw Sunday in chilly and rainy Arrowhead Stadium, then missed his next 14 and set a San Diego record for passing futility. He also committed five turnovers in his first seven possessions, and the Kansas City Chiefs accepted all his gifts in a sloppy, penalty-filled 23-7 victory over the Chargers.

Leaf wound up one for 15 for four yards, breaking the team record for fewest completions. The previous record of three was set 23 years ago.

But he refused to blame flu symptoms that hospitalized him overnight Thursday.

"We lost, man. We didn't play well, especially on my part," he said. "I take full blame."

"He had a long day today," Chief linebacker Anthony Davis said of Leaf. "A rookie is a rookie. But he'll get better."

All but three of Kansas City's points followed turnovers, but the Chiefs (2-1) had problems of their own and committed a team-record 15 penalties.

A driving rain fell throughout the first half while the Chiefs took a 16-0 lead over the punchless Chargers (2-1). Rain fell much of the fourth quarter as well.

On their first three possessions, the Chiefs got field goals of 35, 31 and 33 yards from Pete Stoyanovich, who became the 25th NFL player to score more than 1,000 points.

The Chiefs' touchdowns came on a 44-yard pass from Rich Gannon to Andre Rison and a one-yard run by Tony Richardson.

Natrone Means provided the Chargers' only offense with a career-best 160 rushing yards, including a career-long 72-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

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