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San Diego Chargers relieve Norv Turner with win at Kansas City Chiefs

2nd November 2012

Victory by 31-13 against arguably the worst team in the NFL gives embattled coach breathing space amid fan pressure

It took a win against arguably the worst team in the NFL to get San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner off the hot seat, at least for 10 days. And if things have been bad for the embattled Turner, imagine what his Kansas City counterpart, Romeo Crennel, is going through after his Chiefs were beaten by the Chargers 31-13 on Thursday. The Chiefs committed four turnovers and lost their fifth straight game.

Turner had been heavily criticized by fans after the Chargers blew double-digit, second-half leads in losses to New Orleans and Denver, and then lost 7-6 at Cleveland on Sunday. At the start of halftime, some fans in one end zone unfurled a big yellow banner that read: “Mr. Spanos, please fire AJ & Norv.”

Team president Dean Spanos decided in January to bring back both Turner and general manager AJ Smith even though the Chargers missed the playoffs for the second straight year and have only one postseason win in four seasons. Spanos probably wasn’t inclined to fire Turner during the season, although a loss to the Chiefs would have been more than embarrassing.

“We didn’t talk about it specifically, but we want to win for him every week,” Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said. “You play for a lot of things, but we play for our coach. I think that has been evident over the years when we have struggled.”

Rivers, who looked shaky during the losing streak, did his part by completing 18 of 20 passes, or 90 percent, for 220 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception. It was the sixth time in NFL history a quarterback had completed 90% or more of his passes, and tied Steve Young for fifth on that list.

The Chiefs’ NFL-high 29 turnovers have led to 104 points.

“Similar to what’s been happening throughout the course of this year, we shoot ourselves in the foot,” Crennel said. “We’re in a hole and we have to fight our way out… It wasn’t very good overall, but we’re going to keep coaching and keep fighting and play our way out of it.”

The Chiefs still haven’t led in regulation this season. Their only victory in eight games came when Ryan Succop kicked the winning field goal against New Orleans in overtime.


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