The Chargers had just turned the Kansas City Chiefs over for the fourth time Sunday. l. a. coach Brandon Staley was left with an important fourth-down call with but a moment left during a tie game. Send out his kicker for a 48-yard field goal, albeit Tristan Vizcaino already missed an additional point. Or place the result with Justin Herbert and therefore the offense. “We wanted to go away the ball in Justin’s hands,” Staley said. “We wanted him to be the sport decider.” Good idea.
Herbert threw a beginning that produced a pass interference turn the Chiefs’ DeAndre Baker and a primary down. Then he hit Mike Williams with consecutive completions, including the TD throw with 32 seconds left that lifted l. a. to a 30-24 victory over the five-time defending AFC West champions. “We’re fortunate we have a gangsta quarterback,” Staley said with a smile . Herbert finished with 281 yards passing and 4 TDs without an interception, outdueling Patrick Mahomes during a matchup not only of two of the game’s best young quarterbacks but two teams expected to compete for a division title.
Instead, the up-and-coming Chargers (2-1) won for the third time in four trips to Kansas City while sending the two-time defending conference champion Chiefs (1-2) to the division cellar. “You can’t overcome four turnovers,” said Chiefs assistant Dave Toub, who took postgame questions because coach Andy Reid was feeling ill. “I thought that was the story of the sport .” The Chiefs trailed 14-0 early but had climbed back to the sport within the last half, taking a 24-21 lead midway through the fourth quarter. But the Chargers tied it on Tristan Vizcaino’s short field goal, and after Mahomes was picked byAlohi Gilman with 1:42 to travel, Herbert began the march for the go-ahead touchdown.
He converted a third-and-2 near midfield with a pass to Allen, then the Chargers were bailed out on a fourth-down incompletion by Baker’s pass interference. Herbert hit Williams for a 16-yard gain before finding his big wide receiver within the end zone for the second time within the game. The Chiefs need to midfield within the closing seconds, but Mahomes’ throw to the top zone was incomplete. “The defense did an excellent job stepping up today and forcing all those turnovers,” said Herbert, who found Williams seven times for 122 yards and two touchdowns. “I couldn’t have done it without them.” Austin Ekeler and Keenen Allen also had touchdown catches for the Chargers.
Mahomes finished with 260 yards passing and three touchdowns to travel together with his two interceptions, while Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for 100 yards with a touchdown catch but was liable for one among two Kansas City fumbles. “Nobody is proud of the way we played,” Mahomes said. “You take a loss to a division opponent, it’s not an honest thing. We haven’t done tons of that in my time here. It’s how you respond. we have an extended season before us.” The Chargers’ defensive game plan seemed simple: They refused to let Mahomes throw deep, forcing him into short check-downs, and made the Chiefs put together long drives while expecting them to self-destruct.
Kansas City certainly abided. On its opening possession, Mahomes bounced a pass off Marcus Kemp that rookie Asante Samuel Jr.grabbed for his second interception in as many weeks. The Chiefs coughed it abreast of their next drive and, on their third try, Edwards-Helaire lost the ball only one week after his fumble within the closing minutes cost Kansas City an attempt at a winning field goal in Baltimore. Herbert found Allen for a brief TD pass early within the second quarter to offer the Chargers the lead, then he hit Ekeler from 16 yards to push their advantage to 14-3 at the break.
The Chiefs must have pushed reset within the room . They used a 12-play, 75-yard drive to start out the last half that ended with a brief TD throw to Jody Fortson. A 10-play, 70-yard drive then ended with Edwards-Helaire catching a TD pass. Los Angeles answered with a 75-yard touchdown drive, converting on fourth down along the way, but Mahomes conjured some more magic in marching his team 72 yards and finding Mecole Hardman for an additional go-ahead touchdown. The Chargers had an opportunity to regain the lead from the Kansas City 1, but an illegal shift penalty took away a TD pass. l. a. kicked a tying field goal — the primary time in 13 red-zone trips this season the Chiefs had not allowed a touchdown.
The Chargers made bound to find the top zone subsequent time they were down there. “Any loss may be a gut punch. We could are playing any team,” Edwards-Helaire said. “The two most vital letters during this game are ‘L’ and ‘W.’ If you’re not getting Ws, you’re getting Ls, and that’s not an honest feeling.” CALL IT EVEN The Chiefs had DT Chris Jones (wrist) but were without starting DE Frank Clark (hamstring) and CB Charvarius Ward (quad). The Chargers had DE Joey Bosa (foot) but were missing DL Justin Jones (calf) and CB Chris Harris Jr. (shoulder).