Red Zone

Halftime observations: Chargers 14, Chiefs 10

Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) smiled after scoring a second quarter touchdown against the San Diego Chargers and setting the team's all-time rushing yards record on the play at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA on October 19, 2014.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) smiled after scoring a second quarter touchdown against the San Diego Chargers and setting the team's all-time rushing yards record on the play at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA on October 19, 2014. The Kansas City Star

It’s halftime at Qualcomm Stadium, and the Chargers lead the Chiefs 14-10. Here are some quick observations.

▪ With a 16-yard scoring run, Jamaal Charles became the Chiefs’ all-time leading rusher in the most spectacular way possible. He showed elusiveness and power on his hard-charging run. Vintage Jamaal.

▪ The Chiefs got back to the smash-mouth, ball-control style that has served them so well this season. The Chiefs have rushed 21 times and passed only seven.

▪ Not one target for tight end Travis Kelce. Will be interesting to see on the tape if the Chargers have actively tried to take him away.

▪ Very interesting lineup change early on, as the Chiefs have apparently benched starter Marcus Cooper in favor of Jamell Fleming. Cooper was not listed on the injury report prior to the game and is not hurt.

Fleming is a guy they picked up a month ago off the Ravens’ practice squad, and it appears he’s surpassed Cooper, who has played a ton for the Chiefs for the last season and a half, and 2014 third-round pick Phillip Gaines, who lined up as the nickel cornerback in Chris Owens’ absence.

▪ Junior Hemingway’s third-down drop late in the second quarter was the turning point in the first half. He was wide open across the middle and dropped a pass that he could have taken to the house. The Chiefs ended up punting and the Chargers ended up scoring a touchdown right before the break. Just a brutal swing, and an unacceptable drop from a player with a reputation for having good hands.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at @TerezPaylor.

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