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Chiefs beat Chargers: 7 winners, 2 losers

Well, that game was kind of odd, wasn’t it? Regardless, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 24-10 to improve to 3-0 on the 2017 season.

Here are the game’s winners and losers:

Winner: Kareem Hunt

I remember talking a lot last year about the speed of Tyreek Hill—how it was rare and unlike anything I had ever seen before. I’m starting to feel that way about Kareem Hunt when it comes to his burst and elusiveness.

Whenever he gets a touch, it seems like he makes the first defensive player miss and he has the ability to consistently make something out of nothing.

Just when we thought that maybe he’d finish the day with a modest 103 yards, he broke off a 69-yard touchdown at a time when the Chiefs just needed a first down to clinch the game. Hunt’s final numbers were 17 carries for 172 yards and the score.

Through three weeks of play, you can make a strong argument that he’s the league’s best player.

Winner: Terrance Mitchell

Terrance Mitchell has been a topic of conversation dating back to last season and that continued into this preseason. Would he be good enough at the starting right cornerback position? Would teams pick on him?

Starting with the Patriots Week 1, the answer to that final question has been yes, and that trend continued early on in Sunday’s game with Philip Rivers.

He did have one play early on in which he was beat by Travis Benjamin for 44 yards, but for the most part, he played well. He had two picks in the game’s first half.

Not only is Mitchell aware of the targets, he’s embraced them.

Winner: Marcus Peters

As teams do focus on Mitchell, Marcus Peters has seen less targets. But Rivers targeted Peters on the Chargers’ second drive Sunday and he made him pay with his first interception of the season. Peters leads the NFL in picks since the beginning of his career in 2015— he has 15.

The pick Sunday was especially sweet considering who it came against.

When Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen was nursing his ACL injury last season, he tweeted about Peter being a “bum.”

Some of you will argue here that Peters could be considered for the losers side of this article because of the unsportsmanlike penalty he took at the end of the first half, but we know Peters by now—with his passion that will occasionally happen.

It’s a credit to him for calming down and not getting kicked out of the game with another penalty. Also, it’s worth mentioning Justin Houston played the vacant Eric Berry leadership role of getting on Peters for the penalty.

Winner: Alex Smith

The Chiefs quarterback was under pressure all game, and I’d argue he made the most of the hand he was dealt.

He was a perfect 6 for 6 for 59 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, and his 30-yard throw to Tyreek Hill for the touchdown was beautiful.

The second half wasn’t as kind to Smith, who finished 16 of 21 for 155 yards and two touchdowns.

Winner: Tyreek Hill

After being held scoreless by the Philadelphia Eagles last week, Tyreek Hill had the first score of the game for the Chiefs by catching the aforementioned 30-yard touchdown.

He finished with 5 receptions for 77 yards and the touchdown.

Winner: “Dirty Dan” Sorensen

Good find from our own Ryan Crawford on “Dirty Dan” absolutely dropping the hammer:

Sorensen also nearly made an outstanding interception on a deep ball by Rivers in the fourth quarter.

Winner: Justin Houston

Linebacker Justin Houston is finally healthy, and he is reaping the benefits of that.

Houston recorded his fourth sack of the year when the Chiefs needed it the most—on third-and-10 on the Chargers’ final possession late in the fourth quarter.

Loser: The Chiefs offensive line

The Chiefs offensive line allowed a total of five sacks Sunday, including three in the first half. After the Chiefs’ first two offensive drives that resulted in touchdowns, Smith seemed to be under pressure for the rest of the game.

For what it’s worth, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are regarded as two of the league’s best pass rushers, but it’s still not a good sign in a division that offers a similar challenge across the board.

I’ll be interested in seeing the amount of hurries and pressures allowed when the numbers come out Monday.

Loser: Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers threw three interceptions in the game’s first half alone, and he couldn’t manage to get the Chargers back in the game in the third and fourth quarter despite only trailing by one touchdown for most of it.

Rivers finished 20 of 40 for 237 yards, the three picks and a 37.2 passer rating.

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