Courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Los Angeles Chargers, 31-21, at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday afternoon to wrap up the regular season in the win column.
Leading by three points and facing a third down with just over four minutes remaining, Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes found wide receiver Tyreek Hill for a 47-yard completion downfield to move the chains, setting up a game-sealing touchdown a few plays later.
It marked yet another explosive play in a day defined by them, which included a 104-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by rookie wide receiver Mecole Hardman and an 84-yard score by tailback Damien Williams, as Kansas City moved to 27-3 against divisional opponents since 2015.
Mahomes completed 16-of-25 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown in the game, finding wide receiver Demarcus Robinson for a 24-yard score late in the second quarter to lift Kansas City out of an early deficit and take the lead.
Los Angeles then re-captured the advantage soon after the second half got underway, but Hardman brought the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown to push the Chiefs ahead for good. Hardman’s score marked the third-longest kick return in franchise history and cemented his place as the only rookie in NFL history to record both a 100-yard kickoff return and an 80-yard receiving touchdown.
Williams later extended the lead with his 84-yard touchdown dash, bouncing off would-be tacklers before sprinting down the sideline for his second rushing score of at least 80 yards on the season.
And while Kansas City was building its lead, the defense continued its stellar play of late.
Los Angeles found the end zone just three times, with one of those scores occurring on a short field following a Mahomes’ interception. Safety Tyrann Mathieu was right in the middle of that effort, tallying his fourth interception of the year to thwart a Chargers’ scoring bid. Defensive end Frank Clark, defensive end Terrell Suggs and defensive tackle Chris Jones, meanwhile, each notched sacks on the afternoon.
In fact, Suggs’ takedown of Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers, which came on a third down, moved the veteran pass-rusher into sole possession of eighth place on the all-time sacks list.
The Chargers rallied late, pulling to within three points with just over five minutes left in the game, but Mahomes found Hill on Kansas City’s ensuing drive before Williams punched in another score to secure the win.
The winning-effort marked the Chiefs’ second-straight season with 12 or more victories – doing so for the first time in franchise history – as Kansas City, paired with a New England Patriots’ loss, locked up the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the postseason.
Stay tuned to Chiefs.com and the Chiefs’ social channels for playoff opponent and game-time information.