WIth Patrick Mahomes at the helm, the Kansas City Chiefs always look ready to answer their opponents in the game’s most important moments.
The Kansas City Chiefs found themselves in a divisional slugfest once again in Week 11. As always, expect a nail-biter when facing the Los Angeles Chargers. There were seven lead changes and neither side went ahead by more than a touchdown on Sunday night. Even with injuries to each team, both quarterbacks being healthy meant they would battle it out to the final whistle.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes came into the game without his top two wide receivers. Mecole Hardman was placed on Injured Reserve earlier in the week. JuJu Smith-Schuster remained in concussion protocol. Kansas City made it a point to use their running game while relying on other players to step up. Running back Isiah Pacheco ran with vision and burst. They would also target four other players on the initial drive before attempting to get tight end Travis Kelce involved.
Back and forth, both teams made plays all night knowing the magnitude of the moment. The Chiefs had just taken control of first place in the AFC conference one week prior. Allowing defeat would relinquish that spot and shorten the gap created within the AFC West division. For the Chargers, every single game is nearly a must-win situation to have a stake in playoff games. Primetime football took this energy into the final minutes.
Kansas City trailed by 4 with 1:46 remaining of game time. To this point, Kelce already had been the target on both of Mahomes’ touchdown passes. Marching 75 yards for another touchdown was mandatory due to how much time was left in the game. On the first play, Mahomes delivered an 18-yard completion to wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The next few plays — a quarterback scramble for 6 yards, an incompletion, and a defensive holding penalty on Chargers safety Derwin James. A first-down pass to wide receiver Skyy Moore got Kansas City to the Chargers’ 33-yard line. On the following play, Mahomes scrambled up the middle for a first down and called a timeout.
Now with only 37 seconds left, Mahomes looked in the direction of Travis Kelce again. Running across the middle there was No. 87. Kelce caught it in stride and outraced the Chargers’ secondary to the end zone.
Led by an impressive performance from Mahomes, the Chiefs would seal the matchup against a divisional foe in victorious fashion. A sack from Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones and an interception by Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton prevented any chance for the Chargers to score again. Mahomes ended the night with 3 touchdown passes on 34 pass attempts. He completed 20 of those attempts and had 0 interceptions. He also totaled 329 passing yards with an additional 23 yards on the ground.
Mahomes proved once again he could win on the road against a tough opponent. He found Kelce numerous times where only Kelce could make the reception. Per usual, this game took making the perfect play in the biggest moments. As long as number 15 is on the field, count on him to lead the best offense in the NFL.