What basically amounted to the AFC West championship game didn’t disappoint.
A back-and-forth thriller with all sorts of twists and turns ended with the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the Los Angeles Chargers 34-28 in overtime. Facing two separate deficits in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs overcame both to secure the significant victory.
The Chiefs’ passing attack led the way, headed by quarterback Patrick Mahomes throwing for 410 yards on 31 completions on 47 attempts passing, scoring three times and also throwing an interception. Tight end Travis Kelce totaled 191 yards on 13 catches, including the game-winning touchdown. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill added 148 receiving yards and a score. On defense, the Chiefs were led by linebacker Nick Bolton, who totaled 14 tackles and three passes defended.
The Chiefs won the coin toss to open the game, deferring to the second half. The Chargers took the opening kickoff and returned it all the way to the Chiefs’ 24-yard line. From there, the Chargers moved into a first-and-goal situation — but four straight incompletions followed; the last one ending with a scary injury to Chargers’ tight end Donald Parham.
From their own five-yard line, the Chiefs began an impressive, methodical drive that got tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill involved early while also succeeding on the ground. In total, the drive went 11 plays — highlighted by a 20-yard screen pass and a seven-yard rushing touchdown from fullback Michael Burton. The Chiefs took an early 7-0 lead after eating up nearly six minutes of game clock.
To answer, Los Angeles earned a few first downs as they entered Chiefs’ territory. Then, Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton tipped a pass that ended with linebacker Anthony Hitchens intercepting it.
Kansas City took over, quickly getting into Chargers’ territory with a designed pass to running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. They moved into the red zone on a completion to Kelce from a scrambling Mahomes.
To start the second quarter, the Chiefs faced a third-and-7 — but Mahomes’ reads were covered; a desperation jump-ball attempt fell incomplete. A field goal extended the Chiefs’ lead to 10-0.
In response, the Chargers used big plays from both the running and passing game to quickly advance past the 50-yard line. On a third-down a few plays later, wide receiver Keenan Allen beat cornerback Deandre Baker on a quick slant to advance to the five-yard line. From there, quarterback Justin Herbert scrambled towards the pylon and scored a touchdown, narrowing the score to 10-7.
The Chiefs looked to respond — but failed to do, quickly going on a three-and-out that ended with two incompletions.
A short punt gave the Chargers good field position — and they took advantage of it by efficiently running eight straight running plays, picking up three first downs before Herbert found wide receiver Jalen Guyton for a touchdown. The Chargers took a 14-10 lead.
With time running out in the first half, the Chiefs got a first down before the two-minute warning. On the next play, a scrambling Mahomes fumbled — and the Chargers recovered at the Chiefs’ 45-yard line.
Los Angeles quickly moved, using important completions to Keenan Allen and Mike Williams to get into first-and-goal. With under 20 seconds left, the Chargers had all three timeouts — but continued getting stopped short of the goal line. On fourth-and-goal, safety Dan Sorensen got a hand on the ball and forced an incompletion to end the half.
Trailing 14-10, the Chiefs started the second half with a big gain thanks to defensive pass interference on cornerback Chris Harris Jr. trying to cover Hill. After that, a 23-yard completion to Hill got them in better scoring position — but they stalled; another field goal tightened the score to 14-13.
The Chargers took over, using a big completion to Mike Williams to advance into the Chiefs’ side of the field. From there, they got into a third-and-8 that fell just short of the sticks. On fourth-and-2, Bolton got his hands on another pass — knocking it to the ground for a turnover on downs.
Kansas City answered with a quick first-down conversion by throwing to Kelce. Two plays later, Mahomes found Hill down the left sideline for 40 yards; Hill made an incredible adjustment to bring in a short throw as he was interfered with. Another Hill completion got the Chiefs in the red zone, where a pass to Kelce got them to the three-yard line. On third-and-1, a shovel pass to Burton was barely short of the first-down marker. The Chiefs wanted to go for it on fourth down, but a bad throw by Mahomes fell to the ground in front of a wide-open Mecole Hardman at the goal line.
After the goal-line stop, the Chargers took the ball and drove 82 yards on 12 plays — chewing up time on their way to a lead-extending score. However, running back Joshua Kelley fumbled a rush at the goal line, giving the Chiefs another opportunity with less than 11 minutes remaining in the game.
A few plays later, Mahomes attempted a quick pass — but it was batted up in the air and intercepted by the Chargers.
On the first play of the ensuing drive, Austin Ekeler scored from two yards out to stretch the lead to 21-13.
With nine minutes remaining, the Chiefs took over and quickly got into a third-and-5. Mahomes found Kelce wide open towards the sideline, and the veteran found his way through the defense and gained 69 yards to get down to the one-yard line. Two plays later, Mahomes found Hill for the touchdown. To tie it up, the Chiefs went for the two-point conversion — and a patient Mahomes eventually saw Edwards-Helaire breaking open in the end zone.
At 21-21, the Chargers took the ball with under eight minutes left. Two plays in, it was third-and-3 — but a run converted it. Two 15-yard completions got the Chargers inside the Chiefs’ 30-yard line. Another big run got Los Angeles in even better scoring position. A few snaps later, Herbert foound Keenan Allen in the end zone. The Chargers took a 28-21 lead with two minutes and change remaining.
The Chiefs started their drive with a first down before the two-minute warning hit. Two plays later, they found themselves in third-and-10 — where Mahomes escaped the blitz and found Hill for a huge conversion to get past midfield. Then Mahomes took off on the ground himself, gaining 32 yards and putting the Chiefs in great position to score. On the next play, Mahomes found Kelce for the game-tying touchdown.
Knotted up at 28, the Chargers took over with over a minute left — advancing quickly with a big completion to Allen. However, they stalled from there, forced to punt with roughly 20 seconds left.
After two pass attempts, the Chiefs decided to kneel and play for overtime.
Kansas City won the overtime coin toss. With the ball, the Chiefs advanced by way of big completions to Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill — but none were bigger than the finisher: a quick pass to Kelce turned into a 34-yard, game-winning touchdown — and the Chiefs won 34-28.
On the opening kickoff, multiple missed tackles and unfilled lanes led to a 75-yard kickoff return by the Chargers’ Andre Roberts.
Kicker Harrison Butker converted both of his field-goal attempts — one being a 30-yard kick in the second quarter and the other being a 33-yard attempt in the third quarter. He made his only point-after attempt.
Punter Tommy Townsend punted one time. It traveled a woeful 32 yards when the Chiefs needed a big punt early in the game.
|Yards per play||7.3||5.5|
|Yards per rush||4.30||4.90|
|Passing Gross Yards||410||236|
|Passing Net Yards||410||236|
|Yards per pass||8.50||6.10|
|Rushing first downs||4||14|
|Passing first downs||20||13|
|Penalty first downs||2||1|
|Third down (Made/Att/Pct)||7/12/58%||6/13/46%|
|Fourth down (Made/Att/Pct)||0/1/0%||2/5/40%|
|Goal to go (Made/Att/Pct)||2/2/100%||3/6/50%|
|Red Zone (Made/Att/Pct)||3/6/50%||4/7/57%|
|Extra Points (Made/Att)||3/3||4/4|
|Field Goals (Made/Att)||2/2||0/0|
|Two-Point Conv (Made/Att)||1/1||0/0|
|Gross Punting Avg Yds||32.0||41.0|
|Net Punting Avg Yds||32.0||33.0|
|Total Rtn Yds (No KOs)||8||2|
|Punt Returns (Num/Yds)||1/8||0/0|
|Kickoff Returns (Num/Yds)||1/19||1/75|
|Int Returns (Num/Yds)||1/0||1/2|
|Time of Possession||28:12||33:03|
|Donald Parham Jr.||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|CHIEFS FUMBLES||FUM||LOST||FF||REC |
|CHARGERS FUMBLES||FUM||LOST||FF||REC |
|Melvin Ingram III||3||1||2||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Chris Harris Jr.||5||5||0||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Derwin James Jr.||3||2||1||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Chris Rumph II||2||1||1||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|
|CHIEFS PUNT RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|CHARGERS PUNT RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|