Thursday Night Football: Travis Kelce OT TD lifts Chiefs over Chargers

Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers
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A 34-yard catch-and-run touchdown by Travis Kelce through the defense of the Los Angeles Chargers gave the Kansas City Chiefs a 34-28 overtime victory on Thursday night.

Kelce caught the eventual game-winning pass over the middle of the field only about five yards from the line of scrimmage. Kelce threw on the brakes, cut back, and then sliced through the defense into the end zone to hand the Chargers another heartbreaking home loss. Kansas CIty beat the Chargers in Los Angeles in overtime last year as well, 23-20, on a 58-yard Harrison Butker field goal.

Kelce caught 10 passes for a career-high 191 yards and two touchdowns to carry the Chiefs to the win. Patrick Mahomes threw for 410 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. All three of Mahomes’ touchdowns came in the fourth quarter or overtime.

The Chiefs jumped out to a 10-0 lead over Los Angeles before trailing at halftime.

Fullback Michael Burton scored on a 7-yard touchdown run and Butker delivered a 30-yard field goal to build the Kansas City lead.

Justin Herbert ran for a 1-yard touchdown, and Jalen Guyton caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Herbert to give Los Angeles a 14-10 lead. The Chargers would twice have drives turned away inside the 5-yard line during the half with a pair of failed fourth down tries left points on the board.

Following a 33-yard Butker field goal made it 14-13, Los Angeles would turn it over on downs again on the first drive of the third quarter as a fourth-and-2 throw for Jared Cook came up empty.

After a Mahomes interception set up a quick touchdown from the Los Angeles Chargers to extend their lead, the Kansas City Chiefs struck back quickly with a touchdown from Tyreek Hill to tie the game at 21-21 with eight minutes left to play.

After turning the ball over three times — twice on downs and once on a fumble — inside the Chiefs’ 5-yard line, Austin Ekeler scored on a 2-yard touchdown run to push the Chargers lead to eight with over nine minutes left to play.

A fumble by Joshua Kelley at the goal line on L.A.’s prior possession thwarted another scoring chance for the Chargers before Uchenna Nwosu tipped a pass from Patrick Mahomes to himself for an interception to give the Chargers the ball back inside the 5. It took just the one play from Ekeler to crack the end zone.

Despite going for fourth down conversions five times on the night, the Chargers elected against going for a two-point conversion try to make it a two-score game. Dustin Hopkins extra point made it a 21-13 game.

A 69-yard completion from Mahomes to Travis Kelce on third-and-10 sparked a quick response from the Chiefs. The play moved Kansas City to the Chargers’ 1-yard line. Tyreek Hill caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes two plays later with a successful two-point connection from Mahomes to Clyde Edwards-Helaire to tie the game at 21-21 with just under eight minutes remaining.

The Chargers responded with an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive to retake the lead with 2:19 left to play. A stellar 15-yard catch from Josh Palmer was the highlight of the drive before a laser throw from Herbert to Keenan Allen for an 8-yard touchdown put the Chargers back on top.

The big-play Chiefs offense fired back. A 20-yard completion from Mahomes to Hill on third-and-10 got the drive moving before Mahomes scrambled untouched for 32 yards to the Chargers’ 7-yard line. Mahomes and Kelce hooked up for the tying score to make it 28-28 with 1:16 left to play.

Both teams would come up empty on their final possessions of regulation before the Chiefs won on the opening drive of the extra frame.

Herbert threw for 236 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for the Chargers. Los Angeles rushed for a season-high 192 yards behind 86 yards from Justin Jackson and 59 yards and a touchdown from Ekeler.

Hill caught 12 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown for Kansas City.

52 responses to “Thursday Night Football: Travis Kelce OT TD lifts Chiefs over Chargers

  1. Analytics cost the chargers that game.

    Good job coach!!

    Always take the points, especially on the opening drive and right before halftime. Even the 46 yard one.

    My calculations if correct (he says with heavy sarcasm) say you would have won the game.

  2. Form is temporary, class is permanent.

    Mahomes is simply incredible and fun to watch. His bad form was blip.

    No matter how awful, can still trust him to win or tie you games on final drive.

    Chargers got too cute with 1st and goals instead of running ball. Staley is still learning ropes, good rookie coach, those points will hurt. Fun game..

  3. What Brandon Staley did tonight is indefensible and it should be a fireable offense. Never leave points in the board against a good team in a big game. End of story. Screw your analytics and coach football. These young coaches seriously have no clue what they’re doing.

  4. Not sure why the Chargers pushed so hard and passed up all those easy points. This wasn’t the SB-winning Chiefs, this is the sloppier 2021 version. Take every point you can get and play your game, don’t panic before it even gets going.

  5. Kelce is pretty damn slow, but kept running away from younger, faster “defenders”. Embarrassing.

  6. Chargers gave up field goal for 4th & goal THREE times! That’s 9 freakin’points they gave up! These analytics minded coaches are robots! So stupid to watch!

  7. The Chargers dumb decision making decided this game. As good as Mahomes was in the 4th quarter and overtime, not kicking 3 field goals basically kept the Chiefs around in the game. Herbert outperformed Mahomes and lit up the Chiefs defense, but his coach blew it.

  8. Glad to see I’m not the only one who thinks the Chargers gave that one away. Kelce walks in because the defense is gassed. But – he’s a big man. He’s a beast.

  9. Staley made horrible decisions. Kick 3 FGs & the game would’ve been out of reach.
    Aggressiveness & analytics aside, Staley’s poor decisions cost the Chargers the game – by any measure.

  10. Thank you Chiefs for helping out the Colts in the wild card race. We want to play you in the playoffs

  11. The Chiefs are going to run the table and get the #1 Seed. Again. And, again, the AFC will go through Arrowhead. Kaaaaaaaaaansaaaaaas City!

  12. The game that set analytics back 30 years. Nine points left on the field in an OT game. Welcome to the NFL.

  13. As a Chiefs fan, it was a very frustrating first three quarters of football. KC defense played ok for the most part even though they could not stop the run. Very lucky that the Chargers dropped 2 sure touchdowns in the end zone and the Chargers fumbled on the 1 yard line. KC got it done when they had to but need to be MUCH sharper to have a deep run into the playoffs.

  14. Check out the big brain on Brandon. He supposed to be some young hot shot super coach. His stupid decisions cost his team that game.

  15. lowercasejay says:
    December 16, 2021 at 11:55 pm
    Kelce is pretty damn slow, but kept running away from younger, faster “defenders”. Embarrassing.
    ….uhhhh…’parently he’s not THAT slow.

  16. Great game, two great QBs, and I agree with everyone about taking those points early with a field goal. Why not? You never know. Mahomes remains an elite QB, and while Herbert has a little too much of Brett Favre in him, which will lead to turnovers, there is no doubt he’s going to be a great QB for many years. He, Murray, and Allen are looking strong in terms of the younger guard. Watching these young QBs sling the ball makes Lamar seem like even more of a gimmick.

  17. Kick one field goal and you would of won . Stop trying to outsmart everybody your not that smart.

  18. Same old stuff from Bolts. They are basically a harmless, regular season pretty boy team. They are definitely not built for the playoffs.

  19. As a honest patriots fan, 2-2 down the stretch is about right. Wins against JAX and Indy/ Buffalo, and a typical loss IN Miami.

    This is key because the chargers really put us on our heels allowing the chiefs to win.

    I’m all about aggressiveness inside the 1 yard line at the end of the 1st half at home, when KC gets the 2nd half kickoff.

    But blowing 3 Momentum Points after a heart opening kickoff is embarrassing, let alone the 3 potential in the 3rd on a 50 yard attempt.

    I’m glad to have bill coaching. These analytical idiots need to go. Staley should’ve been shown the door immediately. They went from division lead to wild card MAYBE in a LOADED box.

    Stupid stupid coaching.

  20. Incredible game, even for a Thursday night. It looks like the Chargers will be the yearly challenge for the Chiefs that the raiders could have been (fully convinced that Gruden hit job not only did them in, but ruined future years of success they have been building towards). How the Chiefs D has been this resilient (nevermind todays scoreboard) this second half of the season is beyond me. Crazy to think Melvin Ingram was the missing piece.

  21. I love how announcers keep pushing ‘analytics’. So far ‘analytics’ have been garbage. This game just further proves that.

  22. I have to credit the Chiefs for fighting back all game long and pulling things out on the first drive in overtime. That said, this game should have never made it to overtime. As several of you have pointed out, passing on the FG’s on the opening drive and at the end of the first half cost the Chargers a win, in a all likelihood the division title, and may possibly even a playoff spot if they lose another game or two down the stretch. They’d be sitting atop the AFC West right now if they opted to take the field goals.

  23. Two minutes into game, I say to wife ‘31-20 Chiefs.’ SD has shot itself in the foot twice by then already. Herbert only hit receivers in the hands or chest three times. Then KC daggers them by going 90 yards easily. At halftime, I posted here something like ‘Brandon Staley has to take the points when they are given. Panic.’ KC offense is NOT a wall switch, so what were you worried about?

    All this talk about Herbert. Not quite enough about Staley.

    I go to bed (NY) at 21-13 with about 7 minutes to play. Then, I find out this AM all hell breaks loose. Nice game, Chargers. That’s your karma.

  24. There are analytics, and then there’s idiocy. In the immortal words of Walter Sobchak- OVER THE LINE!!! Chargers blew it.

  25. The Chiefs didn’t win, the Chargers lost. Besides leaving 9 points on the table, they ran the ball ZERO TIMES on that last drive when the Chiefs couldn’t stop the run at all and the Chargers had 2 timeouts.

  26. The Chargers just as much lost that game as the Chiefs won it by choosing not to kick field goals.
    The belief that the Chiefs defence has dramatically improved from earlier in the season was also proved to be untrue. Which would have been obvious if people were paying attention to the offences that weren’t supposedly being shut down by them during their winning streak.

  27. As I watched the game and the failure of the Chargers to take the points I kept saying to myself, “Belichick would take the points”.

    Obviously, the Chiefs would have played differently if the Changes went up two scores early so you can’t just add those 9 points left on the field and say the Chargers should have won. The Chiefs ran Mahomes and fed Kelce in the 4th and OT.

    What really shocked me was that there was no challenging Kelce off the line.

    Joey Bosa is overrated. He gave up Mahomes huge gain running out ot the pocket in the last 2 minutes. He did so with no linebacker or safety help. How is that doing his job? It certainly isn’t team play, it’s a guy trying ti be a hero and hurting his team.

  28. Chargers played well enough to win. Brandon Staley coached bad enough for them to lose. Analytics should only be used as guidelines, not as an absolute.

  29. Kelse wouldn’t have scored if Derwin James had been in the game. Losing him hurt tremendously.

  30. Curly was gifted 2 wins, one vs Packers without Rogers and now vs Chargers thanks to the coach without brain.

  31. 3 straight AFC championship games. 2 straight Superbowls. AFC west champion each year. Winner of roughly 80 percent of his starts, yet according to posters on here and everywhere else the Chiefs have never won a game. Nope the opponent always gives us the game. Haha, carry on.

  32. Chargers gave up field goals twice, not 3 times. Third time was a fumble. Chiefs showed they could move down the field and score at will, 6 more points would have netted the Charges nothing. Herbert had an opportunity with a muinute and 30 seconds and two time outs to win the game in regulation but came up way short. He’s lucky all of the hacks out there will laser focus on the 4th downs so no one talks about that. Staley looks like a great young coach, the Chargers are in good hands and he will lern from this game.

  33. Analytics this, analytics that, blah, blah blah…….. Receivers just need to catch the damn ball! 1st Drive was a perfect example. 3 perfect passes on the numbers & 3 drops? Cook drops another one on a sure TD. Herbert rarely throws an inaccurate ball & that’s why Staley trusts him. They’ll get it right by the playoffs and go on a deep run! Super Bowl?

  34. Chargers coach isn’t going to last long by passing up field goals! Hey dummy you would of been up by nine in regulation! Who goes for it on 4th down every time you have the ball? Only you and you lost!

  35. Chargers staff was flat out terrified of playing the Chiefs. That is the only explanation for not taking the FGs and not punting on 4th down. I get going for it on the first 4th & goal but when that one doesn’t succeed, you kick the FGs the rest of the game. It’s no guarantee of a win because we don’t know how the Chiefs play-calling would’ve changed after the FGs but you take the points.
    Of note, and overlooked, is the fact that Herbert & the Chargers had roughly 76 seconds to drive the field and get the game winning score as time expired in regulation and couldn’t get it done.

  36. Staley kept chasing points because he was terrified that three would t be enough to out score kc. That is a psychological edge the chiefs had last night just instilling the fear from The potential their offense has. Staley is a moron cause the chiefs offense isn’t anywhere near as efficient as they have been the previous years and the field goals would’ve added up to an insurmountable deficit.

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