Rookie Dexter McCluster returned a punt 94 yards for a touchdown as the Kansas City Chiefs relied on big plays to upset the San Diego Chargers 21-14 on Monday night at the New Arrowhead Stadium.
Jamaal Charles had a 56-yard touchdown run and Matt Cassel tossed a short scoring pass to rookie tight end Tony Moeaki as the Chiefs (1-0) built a 14-point halftime lead and held off a late comeback to end a five-game losing streak to San Diego.
The Chargers (0-1) had first-and-goal at the 4-yard line with 74 seconds to play, but were turned away on four attempts by Kansas City's defense.
Philip Rivers finished 22 of 39 for 298 and two touchdowns for the Chargers, who won their final 11 regular-season games last season to win the AFC West.
Cassel was only 10 of 22 for 68 yards and one touchdown for the Chiefs, who scored 21 unanswered points to take a 21-7 halftime lead.
McCluster capped the outburst with 1:43 left in the half when he went untouched for the longest punt return for a touchdown in team history.
Charles rushed 11 times for 92 yards and a touchdown for the Chiefs. Rookie Ryan Mathews had 19 carries for 75 yards for the Chargers, but his second-quarter fumble set up Cassel's scoring pass to Moeaki.
Legedu Naanee had five catches for 110 yards, including a 59-yard scoring pass, for San Diego.