Chiefs Sweep Chargers!

The Chiefs have swept the Chargers this year by a total of six points.  They have not dominated the Chargers.  They simply found a way to win.  Divisional games are always difficult matchups.  This week featured a Charger team returning their two marquee receivers: Mike Williams and Keenan Allen.  The Chargers were still smarting from last week’s loss to the 49ers.  So, the Chiefs knew this was going to be tough night on the road.


Slow Start

The Chiefs scored two field goals and a touchdown on their first three offensive possessions of the game.  Then, they mysteriously went cold.  After taking the lead early in the 2nd quarter, the Chiefs defense forced a three and out, after a massive seven-yard sack by Mike Danna.  The Chiefs looked to be on the move with a seven-yard first down run by rookie Isiah Pacheco.  On third down, Mahomes was pressured but found a wide-open Kelce.  The only problem was that Kelce wasn’t looking for the ball.  The Chiefs punted and the Chargers methodically drove 70 yards for a touchdown.  The Chiefs went three and out on their next possession and the Chargers scored a field goal to add to their lead.  At half time the score was 20 to 13 and the Chargers received the ball in the third quarter.



The 49ers wrote the script for success against the Chargers defense last week.  Run the dang ball!  During the Chiefs last two possessions of the first half they would run the ball for seven and five yards on first down respectfully.  Then Andy Reid abandoned the run.  In fact, it seemed as if Coach Reid left his bag of tricks in Kansas City because his play calling and the route running turned remedial and predictable.  The Chargers were vulnerable against the run. Thankfully they realized some of their first half mistakes and made appropriate adjustments.


Pacheco on the Go

The Chiefs forced the Chargers to punt on their first possession of the second half.  Then the Chiefs decided to run the football.  In fact, that is all they did.  They became so predictable that the Chargers knew exactly what the Chiefs were going to do on third and one on the Chargers eleven yard-line.  The run was stuffed, and the Chiefs were forced to kick a field goal.  The frustrating thing about this drive is the fact that Coach Reid didn’t call one play action pass.  Pacheco and Jerrick McKinnon were running up and down the Chargers defense.  The Charger defense was primed for a play action pass but it simply didn’t happen.  The good thing is the Chiefs chewed up some significant clock on this drive.  The Chiefs defense forced another three and out and once again Patrick Mahomes had his team on the move.


Mahomes Magic

The Chiefs started on their own fourteen-yard line.  During the first play of the possession, Derwin James came in hot and sacked Mahomes for a 7-yard loss.  The next pass was incomplete.  It is now third down with seventeen yards to go and the Chiefs were on their own seven-yard line.  Time for some Mahomes magic!  He hit Justin Watson for a 25-yard gain to convert and keep the driving going.  The Chiefs closed out the drive in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter on a 32-yard strike to Travis Kelce.  It was third and four and Travis caught it well beyond the sticks, juked a defender and danced down the sideline to score.  The fourth lead change in the game had just occurred.


Trading Fumbles

The Chargers were once again on the move until Nick Bolton forced Keenan Allen to fumble an 11-yard reception to the Chiefs.  Mahomes hit Skyy Moore for an 18-yard gain and then the Chiefs started running the ball.  Four plays later McKinnon catches a screen and fumbles it away to the Rams.  The game clock read 6:57.


Herbert’s Magic

Coach Brad Staley needed to accomplish two things on the next drive.  First, he needed to bleed as much clock as he could.  Second, he needed a touchdown.  Mahomes wasn’t the only quarterback with a magical arm on Sunday night.  The Chiefs had forced a third and 18 on the strength of back-to-back sacks by Chris Jones and Willie Gay.  So, Herbert took the snap and found Keenan Allen for a 46-yard connection to keep the drive alive.  Coach Staley accomplished both his goals when Justin Herbert hit Joshua Palmer for his second touchdown reception of the night.  The clock read 1:50.


The Final Lead Change

All Patrick Mahomes had to do is execute a two-minute drill and score a touchdown.  The Chargers knew that to.  Mahomes threw an 18-yard pass to Skyy Moore to start the drive.  Then, flushed out of the pocket, he ran to the sideline for six yards.  He then hit Skyy Moore for another 13 yard explosive play.  With 46 seconds on the clock, Mahomes took the snap and read that all his receivers were locked up in man coverage, so he tucked the ball and ran 16 yards up the middle of the field, calling a time out as he bounced up off the turf.  With 37 seconds on the clock, Mahomes hit Travis Kelce for his third touchdown reception of the game.  This was the sixth and final lead change of the game.

With 31 seconds left on the clock, the Chiefs knew they were not out of the woods yet.  They closed the game out with a sack and an interception.  On 2nd and 15, Nick Bolton intercepted a deflected ball from a teammate to close out the game.


In Conclusion

The Chiefs roster is one of the best in the league.  With JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mecole Hardman and Kadarius Toney out, someone had to step up tonight and they did. Two rookies contributed significantly to the Chiefs win.  Pacheco rushed the ball 15 times for 107 yards and Skyy Moore collected five receptions for 63 yards.  Moore only had seven receptions for the whole year coming into tonight’s game.  The Mahomes and Kelce connection continued its magical ride and the defense stood tall when they needed to, forcing two critical turnovers.  Chris Jones and Mike Danna collected two sack’s a piece while Willie Gay collected the fifth sack.

Though the Chiefs spent much of the game down, they found a way to win.  It was a gritty tough win.  It was the kind of win that builds team character and chemistry.  It was the kind of win that builds trust amongst the players and the coaches.  It was a playoff type of win.  Next week the Chiefs host the Rams.






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