After a promising start to the game, the Kansas City Chiefs’ team filled with second-stringers and practice squad players could not keep up with the track meet that the Los Angeles Chargers turned this game into. The Chiefs lost 38-21, finishing the regular season with a record of 14-2. The Chargers finished 2020 with a four-game win streak and a record of 7-9.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert finished 22 of 31, 302 yards and three touchdowns — while Chiefs quarterback Chad Henne totaled 23 of 32, 218 yards and two touchdowns. The Chargers’ leading receiver was wide receiver Mike Williams, who caught six passes for 108 yards and a score. Chiefs running back Darwin Thompson was the highlight for Kansas City; he finished with 110 total yards and two total touchdowns.
On the opening drive of the game, Henne completed 5 of 5 passes for 60 yards — finishing with a two-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Byron Pringle. The red-zone opportunity was set up by a third-and-9 screen pass to Darwin Thompson that went for 33 yards.
The Chargers answered with a touchdown drive of their own — going 75 yards in 12 plays to tie the game at 7-7. Tight end Donald Parham Jr. took an 8-yard reception in for a score, although he had a chance to be tackled by safety Armani Watts.
The following possession resulted in another score for the Chiefs — but it didn’t come without some luck. A third-down pass bounced off Thompson’s hands but luckily fell into wide receiver Byron Pringle’s lap to get down to the 1-yard line. Two plays later, Thompson punched it in to make the score 14-7 early in the second quarter.
Quarterback Justin Herbert looked to have a long touchdown pass on the next drive, but his receiver dropped the deep, open pass. The Chiefs defense rebounded to force a punt from the Chargers, but punt returner Mecole Hardman muffed it and allowed Los Angeles to recover at the Chiefs’ 17-yard line.
Four plays later, Chargers’ running back Austin Ekeler took a pass and plowed in for six points to tie the game at 14-14.
After a Chiefs’ three-and-out with time winding down in the first half, the Chargers marched down the field with little resistance. They traveled 76 yards on 14 plays to get down to the Chiefs’ 2-yard line as the two-minute warning hit. On the 15th play — fourth-and-goal — Herbert attempted a sneak up the middle but was stuffed by defensive tackle Khalen Saunders to keep the score at 14-14.
Backed up inches from their own goal line, the Chiefs offense barely avoided a safety on the first play of the drive — but then earned one when Henne was sacked on the following play. That gave Los Angeles the lead and the ball with 1:46 left in the second quarter.
With 59 yards to go for a score, the Chargers got down to the Kansas City 2 with help from an unnecessary roughness penalty by safety Juan Thornhill and a defensive pass interference call on rookie cornerback BoPete Keyes. Herbert was able to convert a sneak into six points a couple of plays later. A two-point conversion made the score 24-14 in favor of the Chargers at halftime.
The third quarter started with a Chargers’ drive. After a couple of first downs, the Chiefs’ defense clamped down to force a punt with two sacks on back-to-back plays — one each by defensive ends Alex Okafor and Tim Ward.
The offense followed up that good start by driving 62 yards to the Chargers’ 30-yard line — but stalled there when Thompson was stuffed on a fourth-and-one run.
Los Angeles took over and started putting together a decent drive. Then, Herbert launched a 48-yard bomb to wide receiver Mike Williams for a touchdown to extend their lead to 31-14. Keyes fell down in coverage, allowing Williams to be wide open at the goal line.
As the fourth quarter began, the Chiefs drove down the field thanks to multiple chunk plays — but none as big as Pringle’s 31-yard catch-and-run that featured him breaking four tackles as he got to the Chargers’ 11-yard line. Three plays later, Henne found Thompson in the flat for an 8-yard touchdown reception to get the score to 31-21.
The Chargers proceeded to run down the throat of the Chiefs defense on the following drive. Five of the six plays on the touchdown drive were runs — finishing off with a 1-yard plunge to get the score to 38-21.
- Linebacker Willie Gay Jr. left the game after the third play of the opening series when he collided with teammate Darius Harris on an attempted tackle. After having his left leg checked out on the sideline, he was helped to the locker room. He was ruled questionable to return with a leg/ankle injury soon after but eventually was ruled out for the game.
- Cornerback Deandre Baker went down with a scary, non-contact leg injury in the third quarter. He was transported off the field with a stretcher. Later, the Chiefs announced him as out.
- Cornerback Rashad Fenton received the opening kickoff and took it 44 yards to set up the Chiefs offense at their own 44-yard line.
- Punt returner Mecole Hardman muffed a punt in the second quarter to set up the Chargers at the Chiefs’ 17-yard line.
The game’s rapid reaction will be posted to our homepage shortly.
|Yards per play||6.0||5.4|
|Yards per rush||3.90||3.00|
|Passing Gross Yards||302||218|
|Passing Net Yards||281||217|
|Yards per pass||8.30||6.60|
|Rushing first downs||10||4|
|Passing first downs||16||13|
|Penalty first downs||3||1|
|Third down (Made/Att/Pct)||3/7/43%||6/9/67%|
|Fourth down (Made/Att/Pct)||0/1/0%||0/1/0%|
|Goal to go (Made/Att/Pct)||4/6/67%||2/2/100%|
|Red Zone (Made/Att/Pct)||4/6/67%||3/3/100%|
|Extra Points (Made/Att)||5/5||3/3|
|Field Goals (Made/Att)||0/0||0/0|
|Two-Point Conv (Made/Att)||1/1||0/0|
|Gross Punting Avg Yds||43.5||41.0|
|Net Punting Avg Yds||43.5||41.0|
|Total Rtn Yds (No KOs)||0||0|
|Punt Returns (Num/Yds)||0/0||1/0|
|Kickoff Returns (Num/Yds)||2/25||6/166|
|Int Returns (Num/Yds)||0/0||0/0|
|Time of Possession||34:51||25:09|
|Donald Parham Jr.||3||37||12.3||1||22||4||22|
|CHIEFS FUMBLES||FUM||LOST||FF||REC |
|CHARGERS FUMBLES||FUM||LOST||FF||REC |
|Chris Harris Jr.||4||3||1||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Kenneth Murray Jr.||3||1||2||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|CHIEFS KICK RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|CHARGERS KICK RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|K.J. Hill Jr.||1||7||7.0||7||0|
|CHIEFS PUNT RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|CHARGERS PUNT RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|