KC Chiefs offense finds it rhythm in big win over Chargers

Here's our recap and rundown of an exciting afternoon of football between the Chiefs and Chargers at Arrowhead in Week 7.
Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

The Kansas City Chiefs hosted the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday afternoon in Week 7 with a very real chance to lock down the AFC West. They already held a sizable lead having only played 6 games, and their 5-1 record had them at least 2 games over their closest rival (the 3-3 Las Vegas Raiders). This game would give them a very real chance to make the gap too wide to bridge.

Earlier in the day, the Raiders lost to the Chicago Bears in a laughable loss that had their fan base melting down. Fortunately the Chiefs came up with the home victory to go to 6-1 overall with a 3 game (or greater) lead on everyone in the division.

Here's our recap and rundown of an exciting afternoon of football between the Chiefs and Chargers at Arrowhead in Week 7.

What We'll Likely Remember

On the offensive side, the Chiefs moved the ball with the sort of eye-popping efficiency and big-play acumen from years past—which is what most fans have been waiting and hoping to see. Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce had a monster day, but even the supporting cast of Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Rashee Rice, among with others, stepped up to really keep the Chargers on their heels.

For the defense, Charles Omenihu's debut with the Chiefs was a very successful one and it's a strong sign of things to come, especially since his coaches will only learn more about how best to deploy him against opposing quarterbacks.

What We'll Want to Forget

The Chiefs' defense has been the story of the season, but the Chargers had no problem moving the ball for the entirety of the first half. They deserve credit for turning things around, but the defense gave up a significant amount of big plays to the likes of Josh Palmer and Joshua Kelley.

It should also be noted that Mecole Hardman looked out of sorts in his debut for the team and it will be interesting to see if these hiccups persist going forward.

Three Key Stats

1. The Chiefs went 3-for-4 in the red zone on Sunday afternoon, which was a significant step up from their failures in recent weeks to convert when they needed most. Despite the fact that all three were victories, the Chiefs' last three games featured an offense that stalled in the red zone with only 4 conversions in their last 12 attempts. Week 7 showed a nice step forward in that regard.

2. The Chiefs averaged a very healthy 7.5 yards per play on Sunday, and while the Chargers' defense has been giving a lot of real estate away this season, it was nice to see the offense clicking in ways it hasn't yet this season outside of a single win over the Chicago Bears.

3. While everyone will be talking about Travis Kelce already, we would be remiss if we didn't give a shout-out to the man who caught 12 of 13 passes from Mahomes for 179 yards and 1 touchdown. (Speaking of Mahomes, he deserves a standing ovation as well for putting up 4 touchdown passes and 424 passing yards on the afternoon.)

Highlight of the Game

This was the turning point in the entire game and it came courtesy of a defense that was getting burned for the first 30 minutes of the game. On this play, Charles Omenihu got his hands in the passing lane of a Justin Herbert throw and tipped it high in the air. L'Jarius Sneed's instincts took over from there and he came down with the interception. The Chiefs had just taken a 7-point lead and the Chargers were threatening to tie. Yet after this play, they would struggle to move the chains from here on out.

Key Injuries

The Chiefs came in relatively healthy, with only Justin Watson as an injured yet active player, but in the fourth quarter, Chiefs Kingdom gasped after watching linebacker Nick Bolton go down with a serious wrist injury in the fourth quarter. He left for the locker room early and it will be interesting to see what further tests reveal.

Final Score

After a first half in which both teams were scoring at will and matching the offensive firepower of the other drive after drive, the Chiefs defense made adjustments in the second half and Patrick Mahomes helped put the Bolts away for good in a 31-17 game.

What's Next for the Chiefs?

The Chiefs continue their march through the AFC West with their second game against the Denver Broncos in three weeks. After beating them at home in Week 6, the Chiefs will travel to Mile High to complete the series next Sunday.