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Los Angeles Chargers 30-24 Kansas City Chiefs: Justin Herbert stuns Patrick Mahomes and Chiefs in thriller at Arrowhead

Cameron Hogwood

Interviews, Comment & Analysis @ch_skysports

Justin Herbert finished 26 of 38 for 281 yards and four touchdowns, two of which went to wide receiver Mike Williams, as the Los Angeles Chargers silenced Arrowhead with a thrilling win over the Kansas City Chiefs, for whom Patrick Mahomes was intercepted twice.

Last Updated: 27/09/21 12:08am



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Watch highlights of the the Los Angeles Chargers against the Kansas City Chiefs from Week 3 of the 2021 season

Watch highlights of the the Los Angeles Chargers against the Kansas City Chiefs from Week 3 of the 2021 season

Justin Herbert recorded the biggest victory of his young NFL career as he led the Los Angeles Chargers to a 30-24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead to ignite an enthralling AFC West quarterback rivalry with Patrick Mahomes.

Story of the Game

The Chargers edged a thriller late on when Mike Williams hauled in a decisive touchdown 32 seconds from time after head coach Brandon Staley elected against chewing down the clock to set up a field goal having also gone for it on fourth-and-nine earlier in the drive.

Herbert finished 26 of 38 for 281 yards and four touchdowns, while Mahomes endured a mixed day as he went 27 of 44 for three scores and two interceptions, the latter of which handed the Chargers the opportunity to win the game.

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Three Chiefs turnovers and Joe Lombardi’s up-tempo Chargers offense was the story of the first half as the visitors turned two fumbles into Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler touchdowns while cutting off damaging avenues to Mahomes’ go-to men Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill to take a 14-3 lead into the break.

The Chiefs proceeded to dominate the third quarter with successive touchdown drives capped by Jody Fortson and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, with an improved run game luring the Chargers into the box as a means of freeing up Kelce in the middle of the field.

Herbert put the Chargers back on top with a touchdown pass to Williams, before Hardman restored the Chiefs’ advantage with an eight-yard score to turn the pressure back onto the young Los Angeles quarterback.

The Chargers were almost the architects of their own downfall yet again when a second illegal shift penalty of the game nullified a Gabe Nabers touchdown to put them in the lead with 2.35 to play, only for a Mahomes interception to gift them another shot – one they accepted with open arms through a gutsy eight-play drive ending in Williams’ touchdown.

Stats leaders

Chargers

  • Passing: Justin Herbert, 26/38, 281 yards 4 TDs
  • Rushing: Austin Ekeler, 11 carries, 55 yards
  • Receiving: Mike Williams, seven catches, 122 yards, 2 TDs

Chiefs

  • Passing: Patrick Mahomes, 27/44, 260 yards, 3 TD, 2 INTs
  • Rushing: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, 17 carries, 100 yards
  • Receiving: Travis Kelce, seven catches, 104 yards

Scoring Summary

Scoring summary

FIRST QUARTER
SECOND QUARTER
Chargers 6-0 Chiefs Justin Herbert four-yard TD pass to Keenan Allen (missed extra point)
Chargers 14-0 Chiefs Justin Herbert 16-yard TD pass to Austin Ekeler (two-point conversion)
Chargers 14-3 Chiefs Harrison Butker 34-yard field goal
THIRD QUARTER
Chargers 14-10 Chiefs Patrick Mahomes two-yard TD pass to Jody Fortson (extra point)
Chargers 14-17 Chiefs Patrick Mahomes 10-yard TD pass to Clyde Edwards-Helaire (extra point)
FOURTH QUARTER
Chargers 21-17 Chiefs Justin Herbert 20-yard TD pass to Mike Williams (extra point)
Chargers 21-24 Chiefs Patrick Mahomes eight-yard TD pass to Mecole Hardman (extra point)
Chargers 24-24 Chiefs Tristan Vizcaino 24-yard field goal
Chargers 30-24 Chiefs Justin Herbert four-yard TD pass to Mike Williams (extra point missed)

Key Plays

While nothing came of Asante Samuel Jr’s early diving interception, the Chargers did punish another Chiefs turnover shortly after when Herbert connected with Allen on a four-yard touchdown jump-pass to cap a nine-play drive initiated by Michael Davis recovering Tevaughn Campbell’s forced fumble on Tyreek Hill.

Edwards-Helaire had been responsible for a costly fumble in last week’s defeat to the Baltimore Ravens, and he was guilty of another in the second quarter when he lost control of the ball under a hit from Campbell. Davis swooped in to recover yet again, setting up Ekeler’s 16-yard touchdown catch-and-dive to the pylon before the Chargers also made amends for the earlier missed extra point as Williams rose high to haul in Herbert’s pass on the two-point conversion attempt.

Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes' no-look pass ends in Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Asante Samuel Jr's diving INT.

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Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes’ no-look pass ends in Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Asante Samuel Jr’s diving INT.

Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes’ no-look pass ends in Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Asante Samuel Jr’s diving INT.

Daniel Sorensen rescued the Chiefs when he recovered well to break up a would-be touchdown pass to Jalen Guyton, who was then flagged for an illegal shift to negate Allen’s 30-yard catch-and-run on fourth-and-four and force the Chargers to punt as they entered half-time up 14-3.

Mahomes built on the Chiefs’ strong finish to the half with a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Fortson to cap a 12-play 75-yard drive that included a third-down conversion to Hill. They made it back-to-back touchdown drives when Edwards-Helaire collected Mahomes’ check down for a 10-yard score at the end of a 10-play drive that had seen Kelce’s 23-yard pickup convert a third-and-10 situation.

After Herbert had hit back with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Williams, Hardman put the Chiefs back in front on an eight-yard score off the jet-sweep motion before the penalty on Jared Cook cost the Chargers a potentially-decisive touchdown from Nabers.

It didn’t matter, though. Alohi Gilman was on hand to pounce on a rare misfire from Mahomes with 1.55 remaining to produce the interception that would pave the way for Williams’ game-sealing touchdown.

Chargers' Justin Herbert gives his reaction after leading his side to victory over the Chiefs.

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Chargers’ Justin Herbert gives his reaction after leading his side to victory over the Chiefs.

Chargers’ Justin Herbert gives his reaction after leading his side to victory over the Chiefs.

MVPs

Herbert took further strides in his development as he recovered from the penalty mishap on the Chargers’ penultimate series to lead a clutch fourth-quarter drive ending in the defining touchdown from Williams, who was a trusted outlet for his young quarterback all afternoon with seven catches for 122 yards and two scores.

Credit must also go to Chargers offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, whose tempo approach in the first half worked perfectly in shutting out Steve Spagnuolo’s Chiefs defense.

Edwards-Helaire shrugged off his early fumble to put up one of his most productive days in a Chiefs jersey with 100 yards on the ground, and tight end Kelce finally found some joy in the second half to reel off his 33rd 100-yard receiving game.

What’s Next?

The Chargers host the Las Vegas Raiders at SoFi Stadium in another divisional matchup in Week Four, while the Chiefs visit the Philadelphia Eagles.

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