In new coach Marty Schottenheimer's first season as coach, the Chargers' success has revolved around a strong defense and the running of LaDainian Tomlinson -- thus taking pressure off Brees. This is his first year as the club's starting quarterback.
"The young man already has learned to win," Schottenheimer said of his quarterback. "He knows how to win. He's won at every stage of his career, and he's helping us learn to win."
But in a mistake-prone afternoon on both sides of the ball for the Chargers, Brees resembled the player that set numerous passing records while a collegian at Purdue.
"I think as many times as we shot ourselves in the foot, committing six turnovers and having a chance at end to win the game, you have to think there's some kind of destiny involved, some kind of fate," Brees said.
Trailing, 34-28, the Chargers took over at their own 29 with 2:24 remaining.
Brees went six of seven for 61 yards while working against a prevent defense. He had completions of 18 and 25 yards to Curtis Conway, the second giving San Diego the ball at the Kansas City 11.
Conway praised Brees for keeping his composure on the final drive.
"You look at a youngster with that much time on the clock -- he was real poised," Conway said. "We didn't even line up on the ball in the (last) two minutes. We huddled up and the clock was running and he was still poised about everything. That kid is amazing. His poise is incredible."
After finding Tim Dwight over the middle to the two, Brees threw incomplete on second down. But on the next play, he fired a pass on the right side to Caldwell, who caught the ball in front of cornerback Eric Warfield before strolling into the end zone for the winning points.
"They were bracketing Curtis and I don't blame them," Brees said. "He had caught three passes on that last drive and they weren't going to let him catch the winning touchdown. They singled Reche over there and Reche ran a great route and was able to get the guy off him, he stepped into the end zone. Touchdown."
"I saw them man-to-man," said Caldwell, a second-round pick. "I looked across the field to see what Curtis' guy was doing and I saw them doubling him, so I knew it was coming to me. I knew they were going to throw me the ball. I just wanted to make a play."
Brees erased a rough game with a superb fourth quarter in which he completed 13 of 15 passes for 132 yards. He had an 11-yard touchdown pass earlier in the 21-point fourth quarter.
Brees finished 28 of 41 for 319 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Conway, who lost two fumbles in the first half, had eight catches for 131 yards and scored on an 11-yard run in the fourth quarter for the Chargers (5-1), who rebounded from their first loss of the season. Conway had eight catches for 129 yards.