ICYMI: Chiefs Control their own Destiny with 30-13 win over Chargers


On Saturday night from Arrowhead Stadium, the Kansas City Chiefs hosted the Los Angeles Chargers in a game with major playoff implications. The Chiefs’ defense forced four turnovers before going on to win 30-13. With the win, Kansas City moved a game ahead of LA for the AFC West division lead. The victory also marked the eighth straight win for the Chiefs over the Chargers.  

Game Recap

Both teams struggled to put drives together early. The Chiefs caught a break midway through the quarter when a punt bounced off Daniel Sorensen and Kansas City recovered deep in their own territory.

Kansas City answered on their second drive of the game and on the final play of the quarter, Harrison Butker connected on a 31-yard field goal to give the Chiefs a 3-0 lead. The field goal ended a 15 play, 82-yard drive. Kansas City had a sack and only allowed 21 yards in the first quarter.

At the beginning of the second quarter, Los Angeles was threatening in Kansas City territory, but was forced to punt, due in large part to a Chris Jones sack. Moments later, Alex Smith found Tyreek Hill for a 64-yard touchdown strike on third down.

On the ensuing drive, the Chargers answered with a touchdown of their own. A 10 play, 75-yard drive was capped off with a 2-yard touchdown run by Melvin Gordon. Travis Coons missed the extra point on the following play. With under two minutes left in the half, the Chiefs marched down the field but Butker missed a 52-yard field goal attempt in the closing seconds. Kansas City went into halftime leading 10-6.

In the first half, Kansas City had 222 total yards, while Los Angeles was held to 142. The Chargers finished the half with 12 first downs, compared to nine by the Chiefs.

For Kansas City, Smith completed 13-of-17 passes for 182 yards. Hill led all receivers with four receptions for 82 yards. Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt had 30 receiving yards each. Hunt also added 40 yards rushing on eight attempts.

For Los Angeles, Phillip Rivers completed 9-of-18 attempts for 109 yards, but was also sacked twice. Gordon finished the first half with 41 receiving yards and 31 rushing yards.

The Chargers forced Kansas City to punt early on the opening drive of the second half. Los Angeles capitalized on the following possession with a 6 play, 88-yard drive that ended with a 10-yard touchdown reception by Antonio Gates. Midway through the third quarter, the Chargers held a 13-10 lead.

Kansas City responded with a 12 play, 69-yard drive, resulting in a 3-yard touchdown reception by Hunt. Two plays later, Rivers threw an interception to Marcus Peters. Peters returned it 62 yards to set the Chiefs up for first-and-goal, but Kansas City had to settle for a 24-yard field goal by Butker. The Chiefs went into the fourth quarter leading 20-13.

On the second play of the fourth quarter, Peters forced a fumble which was recovered by Ron Parker in Charger territory. Kansas City picked up a first down before settling for a 51-yard field goal by Butker. Los Angeles moved the ball down the field on the following drive, but Parker intercepted Rivers on fourth down in Chiefs territory. The Kansas City defense forced a turnover on three consecutive drives.

Minutes later, Hunt found the end zone for the second time on the night, this time a 5-yard touchdown run. The score extended Kansas City’s lead to 30-13. Peters intercepted his second pass of the game in the final minutes to seal a 30-13 victory.         










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By the Numbers

Kansas City finished with 397 total yards, while allowing 307 yards. Both teams had 20 first downs, but the Chargers had nine penalties and four turnovers.

For the Chiefs, Smith completed 23-of-30 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Hunt guided the ground game with 24 carries for 155 yards and a touchdown, while also having seven receptions for 51 yards. On the season, Hunt has 1,201 rushing yards and nine total touchdowns. Hill added five receptions for 88 yards and Kelce had six receptions for 46 yards. Hill has 1,074 receiving yards on the year, while Kelce is currently at 991 receiving yards.

For the Chargers, Rivers completed 20-of-36 attempts for 227 yards with a touchdown, but had three costly interceptions. Additionally, Gordon added 91 receiving yards on six receptions and 78 rushing yards on 19 carries. Keenan Allen also contributed with five receptions for 54 yards.

Looking Ahead

Kansas City (8-6) will stay at home to take on the Miami Dolphins (6-7) on Christmas Eve. Also on Sunday, Los Angeles (7-7) will travel to East Rutherford, New Jersey to face the Jets (5-8). A Chiefs win or a Chargers loss would clinch Kansas City’s second straight AFC West title.

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