Kareem Hunt, turnovers haunt Chargers in Kansas City Chiefs victory

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 16: Running back Kareem Hunt
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 16: Running back Kareem Hunt /

The Kansas City Chiefs played aggressive from the outset and ultimately forced the Los Angeles Chargers into multiple turnovers in a dominating win.

Four turnovers. If you need to know how to distill down the Los Angeles Chargers performance and what went wrong at Arrowhead Stadium, it comes down to the four turnovers for the Bolts compared to none at all for the host Kansas City Chiefs.

Yet the story behind the turnovers was one of aggression all night on the part of the Chiefs. From the very first drive on which Eric Murray came in on a safety blitz to hit Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, it was clear the Chiefs planned on disrupting Rivers as much as possible with a variety of blitzes and an overall aggressive game plan, even on offense.

The end result was a dominating performance for Kansas City, especially in the second half, in the form of a 30-13 win, giving them sole possession of first place in the AFC West.

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On offense, Matt Nagy and Andy Reid decided to go for it on fourth down early in the game and converted it to keep an important drive alive. Later on, on a 3rd-and-2 play, the Chiefs decided to air it out to Tyreek Hill on a 64-yard touchdown pass. Instead of the typical “game manager” mode that Chiefs fans can often complain about, the offense showed plenty of swagger from the outset.

On defense, the Chiefs were just as confident, even as the Chargers hung with them for the first three quarters. The Chiefs allowed Rivers and company to hang around, and at one point early in the third, they even took the lead on a touchdown pass to Antonio Gates that had the Chiefs on the ropes. From there, however, the offense not only answered, but the defense cranked up the intensity. And the turnovers began.

Rivers threw 3 interceptions in the final quarter and a half and the Chargers also fumbled the ball. Injuries also began to take their toll on L.A., and the Chiefs would not relent. Marcus Peters had 2 interceptions. Ron Parker added another. Reggie Ragland forced the ball out on another play.

The Chiefs were only credited for two sacks on the day, for Eric Murray and Chris Jones, but the box score doesn’t tell the full story of a quarterback under duress all night long, especially from Justin Houston who was relentless against the run and the pass.

The Chiefs are now in the driver’s seat in the AFC West and can lock up the division title with a win against the Miami Dolphins next week.