The Kansas City Chiefs jumped out to an early lead thanks to big plays from their defense and led by as many as 14 points, but ultimately couldn’t contain the Los Angeles Chargers offense in the fourth quarter, losing the game 29-28 on a touchdown pass and two point conversion with just eight seconds left in the game.
The Chiefs won the toss and deferred to the second half. Desmond King returned the opening kickoff to the Chargers 23. Rookie Justin Jackson got the first carry, gaining three yards up the middle. On the next play, the Chiefs put on a safety blitz with Eric Berry, forcing an early throw by Philip Rivers that was intercepted by Steven Nelson at the Chargers 49-yard line.
The Chiefs got a yard on a pass to Kelce, and then Damien Williams turned the corner around right end and gained 22 yards. A five-yard pass to Kelce gained five. Patrick Mahomes escaped intense pressure and found Damien Williams for a six-yard gain and a first down at the 15. Darrel Williams gained five inside, and a seven-yard pass to Kelce put the Chiefs at first and goal at the three-yard line. After an end-around to Tyreek Hill lost two yards, Mahomes — in the grasp of a pass rusher — found Demarcus Robinson open in the end zone, and the Chiefs led 7-0 with 9:09 left in the first quarter.
From their own 25 after a touchback, the Chargers tried a pass to Keenan Allen that went incomplete. Jackson gained three off-tackle, and then Rivers hit Antonio Gates for a 22-yard gain to put the Chargers across midfield. Jackson was stopped for no gain, and then Dee Ford sacked Rivers for a loss of seven yards, bringing up third-and-17. A completion to Gates was short of the sticks, and the Chargers had to punt. The kick went into the end zone for a touchback.
On the first play, the Chargers were completed fooled by misdirection to the left, leaving Damien Williams wide open in the right flat for a pass that gained 32 yards. Then the Chiefs gave him a handoff that gained three. On the next snap, the Chargers were called for encrocachment, giving the Chiefs five more. After a miss to Kelce, Mahomes was forced to scramble, and ran for a first down. Mahomes then found Darrel Williams for an eight-yard gain on an underneath route, and Damien Williams picked up the first down with a four-yard inside run. Joey Bosa was called for encroachment, bringing up first-and-5, and Mahomes completed a 10-yard pass to Damien Williams that put the Chiefs at the Chargers 11-yard line. After a pass to Hill in the end zone went incomplete, Mahomes hit Darrel Williams in the right flat, and Williams ran it in for the Chiefs second touchdown — the first in Williams’ career — making the score 14-0 with 43 seconds left in the first quarter.
With this touchdown, we’ve now scored the most points during a single season in franchise history. pic.twitter.com/cjn9ATW9Nu— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) December 14, 2018
After a touchback, the Chargers went deep on the first play. Mike Williams blew past Nelson and gained 38 yards on a rainbow from Rivers. Jackson gained nine up the middle, and then picked up a first down with three more.
One more inside run from Jackson and a six-yard completion to Virgil Green gave the Chargers a first down at the Chiefs 13, and then Chris Jones sacked Rivers for an eight-yard loss.
That marked Jones’ 10th consecutive game with a sack, tying an NFL record.
Rivers got that back with a completion to Jackson, and then the Chiefs were called for holding on two consecutive passing plays — one on Dan Sorensen, and the other on Kendall Fuller — giving the Chargers first and goal at the Kansass City four-yard line. Rivers found Mike Williams in the end zone, and the Chargers narrowed the score to 14-7 with 9:43 to go in the first half.
Tremon Smith returned the ensuing kickoff 51 yards, putting the Chiefs at the Chargers 49. Damien Williams got four up the middle, Mahomes hit Hill with a three-yard pass, but the third down pass to Demetrius Harris was batted away. That forced a punt — wasting a golden opportunity — but the Chiefs were able to down it at the Chargers five-yard line.
Rivers found Mike Williams for a 14-yard gain to get them out from underneath the goal posts, and then Detrez Newsome gained 16 when he broke loose on an inside run. Jones notched his second sack of the night for a five-yard loss, but then Rivers found Tyrell Williams for a 26-yard completion that put the Chargers past midfield. Newsome gained three up the middle, and then got the first down on an eight-yard pass. The Chargers tried Newsome again, and the Chiefs stopped him for no gain. Travis Benjamin went around left end for an eight-yard gain, and Tyrell Williams got a first down with a three yard completion. Orlando Scandrick forced a fumble after the catch, but the Chargers recovered at the Chiefs 22-yard line just before the two-minute warning.
When play resumed, Justin Houston and Dee Ford combined on a sack that gave the Chargers a five-yard loss. Mike Williams got three yards on a completion, bringing up third-and-12. Rivers hit Mike Williams for a 13-yard gain to get the first down at the Kansas City 11. Rivers couldn’t complete the next pass to Mike Williams, and then tried Tyrell Williams in the right corner of the end zone — but Fuller intercepted the pass for a touchback.
Getting the ball with 47 seconds remaining in the half, Mahomes found Damien Williams wide open with a short pass on the left, and Williams ran for a 19-yard gain. Then Melvin Ingram sacked Mahomes for a seven-yard loss, but gave most of it back with a neutral zone infraction on the next snap. A two-yard pass to Robinson brought up third-and-10, and Mahomes went deep for Hill, but Jahleel Addae nearly intercepted the ball, forcing a Chiefs punt that went into the end zone for a touchback.
Jackson got a seven-yard carry from the 20 as time expired, and the teams went to the locker rooms with the Chiefs holding a 14-7 lead.
Former Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame at halftime.
Steven Nelson returned the second half kickoff to the 26-yard line. Under pressure on the first play, Mahomes somehow got the ball in the air and into Hill’s hands, but the speedster lost three yards on the play. Damien Williams gained seven on a short pass, and Kelce got 16 on another. Then Mahomes went deep to Hill, who made a leaping catch good for 33 yards. Mahomes tried recently-signed Kelvin Benjamin on the right sideline, and Benjamin made his first catch as a Chief at the Chargers four-yard line. Damien Williams gained two on his first try for the end zone, but made it all the way on his second, and the Chiefs were led 21-7 with 11:38 left in the third quarter.
King returned the kickoff to the 24-yard line, and the Chargers went to work. Jackson went off-tackle for two yards, and then Rivers found Tyrell Williams on a crossing route that went for 17. Jackson gained nine yards off-tackle, and then lost two up the middle. On third-and-3 at midfield, Mike Williams picked up the first down with a four-yard catch. Jackson gained six up the middle. A short pass to Green gained three, bringing up third-and-1. Jackson leaped over the middle to pick up three yards and the first down, and then tried the right end and gained four more. He got one more carry that gained 11 up the middle, putting the Chargers in the red zone. Then Mike Williams went around right end, broke through to the second level and ran unimpeded for a 19-yard touchdown run. That narrowed the scored to 21-14 with 4:57 left in the third quarter.
Tremon Smith returned the kickoff to the 20-yard line, and Mahomes tried a deep pass that Kelce caught for a 25 yard gain. But the play was nullified with a holding penalty on Mitchell Schwartz. After an incompletion to Benjamin, Mahomes hit Chris Conley for a 16-yard gain, bringing up thrid-and-4. A short pass to Kelce gained only a yard, and the Chiefs had to punt again. King fair-caught the kick at the Chargers 23-yard line.
Newsome got an 11-yard completion to start the next series, and on the next play was stopped for no gain on a run up the middle. Rivers then hit Tyrell Williams for a seven-yard gain, but the Chiefs challenged the completion ruling, and the call was reversed. That brought up third-and-10, and Rivers’ pass to Benjamin was nearly picked off by Eric Murray. The Chargers punted out of bounds, giving the ball to the Chiefs at the 27-yard line.
Mahomes completed a five yard pass to Hill, and then Damien Williams was dropped for a two-yard loss — but the play was nullified by a holding penalty on Mitch Morse. Under pressure on the next snap, Mahomes’ pass went nowhere — but Bosa was called for a face mask penalty that gave the Chiefs a first down at their own 37.
A pass to Hill gained nothing, and Mahomes failed to connect on two straight passes. But on the second, King was called for defensive holding, giving the Chiefs a first down at the 42. A pass to Damien Williams went for no gain, and another to Conley went incomplete. Then the Chiefs picked up the first down with a 15-yard pass to Kelce that put the Chiefs across midfield.
Then Mahomes tried a deep shot to Hill — running open into the end zone — but the pass bounced off Hill’s helmet out of bounds. A handoff to Damien Williams around left end gained 12, but an illegal shift penalty nullified the play. Mahomes threw deep on the next play. The pass went incomplete, but Jatavis Brown was penalized for defensive holding, which gave the Chiefs another first down. Darrel Williams gained eight yards around left end that put the Chiefs in the red zone.
Damien Williams gained eight yards for a first down — and then six more — on two carries up the middle, putting the Chiefs at the five-yard line. Mahomes completed a pass to Conley on a nifty misdirection play, but Conley was upended short of the first down. Mahomes carrried for a yard — to within inches of the goal line — to convert the first down. On the next play, Damien Williams powered through the line for a touchdown, and the Chiefs led 28-14 with 8:15 remaining in the game.
After a touchback, Rivers hit Tyrell Williams for 14 yards, and then eight yards more. Gates juked for a 14-yard gain on a short pass, and Rivers hit Jackson for 16. Then Gates picked up another first down with a 10 yard completion to the Kansas City 10. Newsome carried for four yards, and a short pass to Tyrell Williams gained three more.
On third-and-3, Rivers couldn’t connect with Mike Williams, and the Chargers elected to go for it from the Chiefs six-yard line. Nelson broke up the pass to Tyrell Williams in the end zone, but was flagged for holding. That give the Chargers a new set of downs at the three-yard line, but they’d just need one. On the next play, Jackson ran up the middle for a touchdown that made the score 28-21 with 3:49 remaining in the game.
Smith returned the kickoff to the 24-yard line, but an illegal block penalty on Charcandrick West pushed the Chiefs back to their 11. Damien Williams was stopped for a three-yard loss, and Hill had a five-yard completion. On third-and-8, Harris was called for a false start, bringing up third-and-13. The Mahomes was sacked for a six-yard loss, and the Chiefs had to punt the ball away.
King muffed the punt, but managed to recover at the Chargers 40. Starting with 2:37 left in the game, Rivers started with an incomplete pass, and Dan Feeney was called for holding on the play. Then Rivers dent deep, connecting with Benjamin for a 31-yard gain to the Kansas City 39. Another incompletion, and then a short pass to Addae was good for three yards. Then another incompletion, followed on fourth-and-7 by a 26-yard completion to Benjamin that put the Chargers at the Kansas City 10. A pass to Jackson went incomplete, and then Rivers was dropped at the line of scrimmage trying to escape pressure. Fuller broke up an end zone pass to Mike Williams, but was called for pass interference, giving the Chargers the ball at the one-yard line.
With eight seconds remaining, Rivers found Mike Williams in the end zone for an apparent touchdown, which was upheld upon review when it first appeared that Williams bobbled the ball going out of bounds. The Chargers went for two. Rivers found Williams wide open in the end zone, and the Chargers won 29-28.
Patrick Mahomes threw for 243 yards, with 24 completions on 34 attempts, wioth two touchdowns and no interceptions, compiling a passer rating of 110.3 on the day. He was sacked twice.
For the Chargers, Philip Rivers was 26 for 38, totaling 313 yards, two touchdown passes and two interceptions. His passer rating for the game was 89.0. The Chiefs sacked him five times.
Damien Williams led Chiefs receivers with 74 yards on six catches, plus 49 yards on 10 rushes and two touchdowns. Travis Kelce had 61 yards on seven catches, and Tyreek Hill had four receptions for 46 yards. Darrel Williams had two catches for 19 yards, and had a touchdown pass. Demarcus Robinson had the other touchdown catch.
The Chiefs allowed 407 total yards to the Chargers , including 119 yards on the ground.
Wide receivers Sammy Watkins and Gehrig Dieter, running back Spencer Ware, offensive linemen Cam Erving and Kahlil McKenzie, tight end Deon Yelder and linebacker Tanoh Kpassagnon were all inactive for the game.
After the brutal short week, the Chiefs get a mini-bye week before the next game — another primetime game against a good team: The Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, December 23. Kickoff is set for 7:20 pm Arrowhead Time.
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