On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs had nothing to gain in their season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers. Already locked into the AFC’s third postseason seed (and eighth consecutive AFC West title), the Chiefs rested quarterback Patrick Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce and many other starters against a team that was also without many of its marquee players. That strategy paid off as Kansas City finished its season 11-6 with a 13-12 victory.
On their opening drive, the Chiefs went three-and-out — but the Chargers did not. Backup quarterback Easton Stick marched the offense 70 yards downfield. But on a third-and-goal on the Kansas City five-yard line, defensive end Charles Omenihu notched a strip-sack of the Los Angeles quarterback. Safety Mike Edwards picked up the ball and ran it 97 yards for a touchdown, giving the Chiefs a 7-0 lead.
Each team forced a couple of punts. Kansas City forced another before finally getting to work on offense, depending on a fake punt on a fourth-and-5 at midfield and a 37-yard catch-and-run by Mecole Hardman that gave the Chiefs a first-and-goal at the Los Angeles 5-yard line. Kansas City couldn’t punch it in, but Harrison Butker’s 22-yard field goal gave his team a 10-0 lead with just over four minutes left in the half.
On the next drive, the Chargers took advantage of a pass interference call on Jaylen Watson that moved them across midfield. But the Kansas City defense held, forcing Los Angeles to kick a 49-yard field goal that made the score 10-3. Kansas City’s next drive ended when Gabbert’s deep pass to Hardman was intercepted with 1:24 left. The Chargers got into field goal range with the assistance of a pass interference call against Joshua Williams — and as the first half expired, kicked a 40-yard field goal that made the score 10-6.
Both teams punted on their first third-quarter drives. Los Angeles then drove 60 yards down the field before their drive was stalled by a Chris Jones sack that gave him 10.5 on the season. The Chargers kicked a 43-yard field goal to narrow the score to 10-9.
The fourth quarter began with a punt by each team. Then the Chargers assembled an 18-play, 84-yard drive (including a conversion on a fourth-and-8) that the Chiefs finally stopped at their own two-yard line. With a 20-yard field goal, Los Angeles finally took a 12-10 lead with 4:09 left in the game.
The Chiefs pushed down the field, getting a 41-yard field goal to take a 13-12 lead with 49 seconds left. On the Chargers’ first play from scrimmage, Malik Herring collected a 10-yard sack, which helped set up a fourth-and-2 from the Chargers’ 33. Stick’s pass fell incomplete, sealing Kansas City’s 13-12 win.