SAN DIEGO — Quarterback Matt Cassel didn't travel to San Diego after having an emergency appendectomy on Wednesday.
It looked like the rest of the Chiefs stayed home, too.
Philip Rivers threw two touchdowns to Malcom Floyd and the Chargers stayed alive in the AFC West race Sunday with a 31-0 win over the division-leading Chiefs.
The Chiefs gained 67 yards, second-fewest in their history, and took their first regular-season shutout loss to the Chargers. The teams began in 1960 in the AFL; San Diego blanked Kansas City 17-0 in a 1992 playoff game.
"Defensively, I'm not sure that you could play any better than that," said Chargers coach Norv Turner, who gave game balls to the offensive and defensive lines.
The four-time defending division champion Chargers pulled within a game of the Chiefs. A loss would have eliminated San Diego from the division race.
After getting outmuscled in a 28-13 loss to Oakland the previous week, the Chargers got two gifts. The first was Cassel's replacement — Brodie Croyle, who dropped to 0-10 as a starter.
The second was the Raiders' loss at Jacksonville, which dropped Oakland to 6-7.
"It's a playoff game and we can't lose," Rivers said. "We know that. We can't look to January because there's no guarantee we are going to get there."
Croyle was 7-of-17 for 40 yards and was sacked four times in his first start since the 2009 opener.
The Chargers outgained the Chiefs 426-67 and allowed five first downs — one in the second half — to tie their team record.
"We know their defense is not all that good, but hey, they came through today and stopped us," said Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, who apparently forgot that the Chargers were ranked No. 1 in the league in total defense coming in.