Eric D. Williams, ESPN Staff Writer 364d

Philip Rivers throws 3 INTs as Chargers fall to 0-3 in 'Battle for L.A.'

CARSON, Calif. -- Thud!

That's the sound of the Los Angeles Chargers' arrival in the team's self-proclaimed "Battle for L.A."

The Chargers played tough defensively against an explosive Kansas City Chiefs offense that was led by Alex Smith, but they had little to show for their effort and ultimately lost to their AFC West division rivals by a score of 24-10 on Sunday.

The setback was the second straight home loss at the StubHub Center, as the Chargers dropped to 0-3 for the first time since 2003.

According to ESPN Stats & Information data, since the NFL went to 12 playoff teams in 1990, just three teams that have started 0-3 have made the playoffs: the 1998 Buffalo Bills, the 1995 Detroit Lions and the 1992 Chargers (who started 0-4).

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers struggled mightily in this one, throwing three interceptions on the first four possessions in the first half.

According to ESPN Stats & Information research, it was Rivers' ninth career regular-season game with at least three interceptions, and six of them have come since the start of 2014. Rivers has the most such games in the NFL in that span.

It's also the first time Rivers threw three interceptions in the first half.

Rivers almost threw his fourth interception of the game early in the fourth quarter, when a ball intended for Tyrell Williams was tipped by cornerback Marcus Peters. However, safety Daniel Sorensen couldn't control the ball.

Rivers finished 20-of-40 for 237 yards and no touchdown passes.

Rivers' struggles overshadowed an impressive performance by the Chargers' defense, which contained Kansas City's explosive offense most of the day with a disruptive pass rush.

The Chargers sacked Smith five times, and they hold the Chiefs' offense to seven points in the second half.

Defensive end Melvin Ingram finished with three of those sacks, a career high.

The Chargers had one last opportunity to tie the game with just over five minutes left, starting at their own 11-yard line. However, Rivers was sacked on third-and-10 from the Chargers 43-yard line, and the Bolts were forced to punt.

Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt put the game away with 69-yard touchdown run.

Chargers players Brandon Mebane, Damion Square and Darius Philon sat while Tenny Palepoi and Chris McCain knelt during the national anthem as the Bolts prepared for the game.

The rest of the Chargers players and coaches, as well as owner Dean Spanos and general manager Tom Telesco, locked arms while standing on the sideline.

Spanos locked arms with linebacker Jatavis Brown and safety Adrian Phillips.

"I have tremendous respect for our flag and the men and women who defend it," Spanos said in a prepared statement. "Ours is the greatest nation in the world, one in which people are able to speak freely and stand up publicly for their beliefs. Our players, as do all Americans, have every right to speak their mind and from their heart. It was an honor to join them on the field today."

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