With first place in the AFC West on the line, the Los Angeles Chargers traveled to Kansas City on Saturday night to take on the Chiefs.
The Kansas City Chiefs played host to the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night in a matchup that had first place in the AFC West hanging in the balance. The Chargers got off to a slow start against Kansas City, as the Chiefs defense really came to play early. In fact, the Chiefs took a 10-0 lead with 6:30 left in the second quarter, thanks to a 64-yard bomb from Alex Smith to Tyreek Hill.
Los Angeles would get on the board before halftime, as Melvin Gordon ran one in from two yards out. Travis Coons missed the extra point, and the Chiefs took over with two minutes left in the half. They drove down to kick a field goal, but Harrison Butker missed from over 50 yards. The half would end on a Hail Mary from Philip Rivers, though Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce was waiting in the end zone to bat it down.
In the second half, the Chargers took their first lead of the night, as Antonio Gates caught his 86th career touchdown from Rivers. That connection will likely both find themselves in Canton one day, and after a Coons extra point, the Bolts went up 13-10. Unfortunately, turnovers would doom the Chargers after taking the lead, and you never want to give the ball away on the road.
Rivers threw his first interception in 164 attempts, which was the longest active streak in the NFL. That interception was hauled in by Marcus Peters, who sat out last weekend’s game against the Oakland Raiders due to suspension. Kareem Hunt would score a touchdown to put the Chiefs back in front, and an Austin Eleker fumble would set up Harrison Butker’s second field goal of the game.
Up 20-13, the Chiefs got another Butker field goal, taking a 23-13 lead with 11:40 left in the fourth quarter. That field goal was from 51-yards, and it proved to be the death nail in this one. With the win, Kansas City moved to 8-6 on the season and is now back in sole possession of first place in the AFC West. If the Chiefs can win one more game, they will lock up the AFC West.
The line on this game fluctuated all week, with it even going to a pick ’em state for a while. Prior to kickoff, the Chiefs were a one-point favorite at home, and they played like a team who should have been favored by double-digits in this one. The over/under finished up at 47.0 points, and that proved to be a pretty solid indicator of the number of points scored. All odds were available throughout the week on OddsShark.com.
1. Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs
The star rookie running back for the Chiefs went off on Saturday night, as he is starting to look like the player who got off to such a hot start to his NFL career. Hunt scored through the air, and on the ground, as he served as the focal point in the offense against Los Angeles. Hunt finished the game with over 150 yards rushing, becoming the all-time leading rookie rusher in Kansas City history.
2. Kansas City Chiefs defense
The Los Angeles Chargers came into this game as one of the hottest teams in football, and this Chiefs defense shut them down from the jump. Turnovers played a huge role in the outcome of this game, as it was a pretty close one before the Chiefs defense became so opportunistic. If the Chiefs play the way they did on both sides of the ball the rest of the way, they are going to be pretty hard to beat.
3. Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers were actually in this one into the second half, as Melvin Gordon led the way offensively. Gordon ended up leading the Bolts in both receiving and rushing, though he and his teammates were done in by too many turnovers. He has been an incredible player early in his career for the Chargers, but he really got no help on Saturday night.
The Los Angeles Chargers will stay on the road in Week 16, as they travel to New Jersey to take on the New York Jets inside Metlife Stadium on Christmas Eve. Kansas City will remain in the friendly confines of Arrowhead Stadium, this time welcoming the Miami Dolphins to town on Sunday.