The Chiefs have not lost a game against an AFC West opponent since Dec. 13, 2018, when the Chargers beat them 29-28 while Philip Rivers was still the quarterback. Justin Herbert was the Chargers’ quarterback Sunday.
Herbert looked nothing like a rookie making his first start, but Patrick Mahomes was Patrick Mahomes.
The Chiefs trailed 14-6 at halftime and 17-6 in the third quarter. They tied the Chargers 20-20 on a field goal on the last play of regulation and won it 23-20 on an overtime field goal with less than two minutes to go.
The Chargers beat the Bengals on a 31-yard missed field goal by Cincinnati kicker Randy Bullock in the waning seconds in Week One. Those were the Bengals, the worst team in the NFL in 2019, that the Chargers played last week. These were the defending Super Bowl champions.
Harrison Butker, who tied the team record with a 58-yard field goal in the third quarter, was good from 30 yards on the final play of the fourth quarter. The Chiefs, though, were attempting to win the game in regulation.
They overcame two holding penalties on the game-tying drive but ran out of time after reaching the Los Angeles 12.
In overtime, the Chargers elected to punt on fourth-and-one from their own 34. They never saw the ball again. The Chiefs converted a fourth-and-one from the Chargers 46 on a Darwin Thompson run.
They scored four snaps later on a 58-yard Butker field goal after a false start by Nick Allegretti backed them up 5 yards.
It gave the Chiefs their 11th consecutive victory. They had won seven in a row by double digits until Sunday as Herbert and the Chargers gave Mahomes and the Chiefs all they wanted.
Herbert, a surprise starter after Tyrod Taylor injured his chest in pregame warmups, went 22-of-33 for 311 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Six different receivers caught passes.
Mahomes, who was under duress all day, ran for 54 yards on six carries and completed 27 of 47 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns. His 54-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill with 12:48 left in the fourth quarter ended up leading to a tie game.
Officials missed a 15-yard penalty on Hill after his touchdown. He removed his helmet in the end zone, which should have drawn a flag and surely will draw a fine.
It won’t help the Chargers now. They likely would have backed up the Chiefs 15 yards on the extra point, which would have forced the Chiefs to try to kick a long extra point rather than go for two, which they converted on a pass from Mahomes to Mecole Hardman.