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Justin Herbert connects on last-minute TD to pull Chargers past Chiefs

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Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams celebrates after catching a second-half touchdown pass.
Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams celebrates after catching a second-half touchdown pass in a 30-24 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

After falling to the Dallas Cowboys in a heartbreaker last week, the Chargers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 30-24 at Arrowhead Stadium in an AFC West shocker.

Chargers put faith in Justin Herbert, who delivers victory over Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — They went for it on fourth down early in the fourth quarter and again late in the fourth quarter.

They called a running play in the final minute but included the option to pass if the young quarterback thought it was best.

At the most crucial moments Sunday, Brandon Staley turned over the Chargers’ game to Justin Herbert, and Herbert delivered a dramatic, dynamic victory to his coach.

“We want to put the ball in Justin Herbert’s hand,” Staley said later, “and have him be the decider.”

Herbert’s decisions — along with his glaring talent and the shiny weapons he has orbiting him— led the Chargers to a 30-24 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, the franchise that has owned the AFC the past two seasons.

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Patrick Mahomes throws for the Hail Mary, but Chargers hold on to beat Chiefs 30-24

Patrick Mahomes’ final Hail Mary pass went unanswered and the Chargers held on for a 30-24 victory over Kansas City.

They came back after trailing 24-21 late in the fourth quarter and won it on Justin Herbert’s four-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams with 32 seconds remaining.

Herbert finished 26 of 38 for 281 yards and four touchdowns.

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Chargers take 30-24 lead with less than a minute left in game

Justin Herbert threw four yards to Mike Williams for a go-ahead touchdown with 32 seconds remaining in regulation.

The score gave the Chargers a 30-24 lead. Tristan Vizcaino missed his second extra point of the game after the touchdown.

A pass interference call on Daniel Sorensen converted a fourth-and-nine to extend the drive. Sorensen was defending Jalen Guyton.

The Chargers got the ball back when safety Alohi Gilman intercepted a Patrick Mahomes pass at the Chargers’ 41-yard line with 1:42 remaining. It was the Chiefs’ fourth turnover of the day.

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Chargers-Chiefs tied at 24 with more than two minutes left

The Chargers tied the game 24-24 with 2:17 in regulation on a 24-yard field goal by Tristan Vizcaino.

The kick came after the Chargers lost a late touchdown for the second consecutive week because of an illegal shift penalty.

Jared Cook was called for the infraction on a play that the officials had ruled was a one-yard scoring pass from Justin Herbert to Gabe Nabers.

In a Week 2 20-17 loss to Dallas, Cook’s touchdown pass from Herbert was nullified by an illegal shift.

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Chiefs answer back, go up 24-21 over Chargers late in fourth quarter

Kansas City scored a touchdown on its third consecutive possession to go up 24-21 on the Chargers with 6:43 to go in regulation.

Patrick Mahomes shoveled a pass to Mecole Hardman, who ran it in from eight yards out.

The Chiefs went 72 yards in 12 plays as they continued to dominate the ball. They’ve run 68 offensive plays to the Chargers’ 44.

Along with struggling to contain Mahomes, the Chargers also have had another tough day stopping the run. Kansas City has rushed for 163 yards.

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Justin Herbert passes to Mike Williams for 20 yards to make it 21-17 Chargers

The Chargers answered Kansas City’s second consecutive touchdown with an impressive scoring drive of their own.

Justin Herbert hit Mike Williams for a 20-yard touchdown to make it 21-17 with 13:39 remaining in regulation.

The 10-play, 75-yard series included a conversion on fourth down when Herbert passed to Keenan Allen for nine yards to the Chiefs’ 19-yard line. Two plays later, Herbert connected with Williams and the Chargers regained the lead.

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Chiefs take a 17-14 lead over Chargers late in third quarter

Kansas City took its first lead of the day on a 10-yard completion from Patrick Mahomes to Clyde Edwards-Helaire, making it 17-14 with 3:35 left in the third quarter.

Since the Chargers went up 14-0 midway through the second quarter, they’ve run only nine offensive plays compared with Kansas City’s 36.

The Chiefs have 25 first downs to the Chargers’ nine and lead in total yards 342-153.

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Chiefs cut Chargers’ lead with touchdown to open second half

Kansas City closed to within 14-10 with a touchdown drive to open the second half.

Patrick Mahomes hit tight end Jody Fortson with a two-yard scoring pass to cap a 12-play, 75-yard drive.

The Chiefs have 20 first downs to the Chargers’ nine. They’ve also outgained the Chargers 277-154.

Kansas City, however, has all of the game’s three turnovers.

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Chargers safety Derwin James returns; Chargers lead 14-3 at halftime

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert gets ready to throw.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert throws during the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in Kansas City.
(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

Derwin James returned in the final minute of the first half after leaving the game because of a shoulder injury.

The Chargers’ safety came back during Kansas City’s final drive of the second quarter. The Chiefs ended up kicking a 34-yard field goal to make it 14-3 at halftime.

Justin Herbert is 15 of 18 for 131 yards and two touchdowns. His rating is 134. Austin Ekeler has six receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown.

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Chargers safety Derwin James questionable to return after shoulder injury

Chargers star safety Derwin James left the game late in the second quarterback because of a shoulder injury.

He was replaced by Alohi Gilman.

The Chargers announced that James is questionable to return. They lead Kansas City 14-0 with two minutes remaining before halftime.

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Chargers’ Justin Herbert off to a fast start

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is off to a fast start so far against the Chiefs:

The Chargers lead the Chiefs 14-0 in the second quarter.

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Chargers take advantage of Chiefs’ turnover to go up 14-0

The Chargers are two for two on red-zone trips today.

The Chargers took advantage of Kansas City’s third consecutive turnover when Austin Ekeler scored on a 16-yard pass from Justin Herbert midway through the second quarter.

Herbert passed to Mike Williams for the two-point conversion to give the Chargers a 14-0 lead with 7:36 left before halftime.

That third turnover came when Tevaughn Campbell caused Clyde Edwards-Helarie to fumble and Michael Davis recovered near midfield.

Campbell has two forced fumbles and Davis two recoveries. Rookie cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. ended Kansas City’s first drive with an interception inside the Chargers’ five-yard line.

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Chargers defense showing up against Chiefs

The Chargers defense is causing problems for the Chiefs offense with three straight takeaways already:

The Chargers lead the Chiefs 6-0 in the second quarter.

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Chargers on the board first with a touchdown pass by Justin Herbert

Justin Herbert hit Keenan Allen for a four-yard touchdown 63 seconds into the second quarter to give the Chargers a 6-0 lead on Kansas City.

The Chargers went 51 yards in nine plays to score the game’s first points.

Tristan Vizcaino missed the extra point on a windy day at Arrowhead Stadium.

The drive was set up when cornerback Tevaughn Campbell knocked the ball away from Tyreek Hill, causing a fumble that Michael Davis recovered.

The turnover was the second of the day for the Chiefs. Rookie cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. killed Kansas City’s first possession with a diving interception of Patrick Mahomes. The quarterback’s no-look pass deflected off tight end Marcus Kemp.

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Asante Samuel Jr. makes diving interception off a deflection

Chargers cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. made a diving interception off a deflection from Kansas City Chiefs tight end Marcus Kemp at the Chargers’ 5-yard line:

The Chargers and Chiefs are still scoreless in the first quarter.

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Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa active against Chiefs

Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa warms up before a preseason game.
Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa warms up before a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers on Aug. 22 at SoFi Stadium.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Edge rusher Joey Bosa is active for the Chargers today after not practicing all week because of ankle and foot issues.

The Chargers’ inactive for the game at Kansas City: DB Chris Harris Jr. (shoulder), DL Justin Jones (calf), QB Easton Stick, TE Tre’ McKitty, RB Joshua Kelley, OL Brenden Jaimes and LB Amen Ogbongbemiga.

Veteran Michael Schofield III replaced Jaimes on the game-day roster after the rookie was active for the first two games.

Defensive lineman Joe Gaziano and edge rusher Emeke Egbule were activated from the practice squad Saturday.

Chase Daniel is the backup QB again.

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Chargers have to make points to stop Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes in huge AFC West test

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes scrambles during a game against the Chargers in September 2020 at SoFi Stadium.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The challenge for the Chargers on Sunday is a daunting one: stopping a quarterback who is so good that he puts pressure on the opposing defense and offense.

Patrick Mahomes’ shadow hangs over this game as surely as the Kansas City sky blankets Arrowhead Stadium.

“I’m looking forward to going out there and trying to put up as many points as we can,” Chargers running back Austin Ekeler said. “They have the half-a-billion-dollar man over there who’s going to be doing his thing.”

Beating Mahomes and the Chiefs is possible only if the opposition can first keep pace with Mahomes and the Chiefs. Even then, the 2018 NFL MVP still has a way of ruining the other team’s plans.

In Week 1, Cleveland’s 12-point halftime lead didn’t prevent Kansas City from coming back to win in the fourth quarter.

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Chargers vs. Chiefs matchups: Justin Herbert, offense seek to improve in red zone

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert passes against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 19.
(Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

Breaking down how the Chargers (1-1) and the Kansas City Chiefs (1-1) matchup heading into their game at 10 a.m. Pacific time Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The game will be carried on CBS .

When Chargers have the ball: Scoring touchdowns on only three of 10 trips, the Chargers this season often have left the red zone red faced. Defensively, though, Kansas City has been worse. The Chiefs allowed Cleveland and Baltimore to go a combined eight for eight in the red zone to open the season. The Chargers have been productive moving the ball, but not scoring. They have only three touchdowns despite possessing an offense that features Justin Herbert. Kansas City already has surrendered nine touchdowns. The Ravens scored on five of their final six possessions last week before running out the clock in a 36-35 win. Herbert has been playing at a high level, with back-to-back 300-yard games while deftly eluding pressure. “We’re distributing the ball evenly, balanced, getting it to a lot of different people,” coach Brandon Staley said. “I really like the way we’re throwing the football right now.” Running more effectively, especially in the red zone, could help with point production. The Chiefs have been accommodating in that regard. Playing against solid rushing teams in the Browns and Ravens, Kansas City has given up 404 yards on the ground to rank last in the NFL. This isn’t a prediction, just a fact: The Chargers haven’t had a 100-yard rusher since Dec. 8, 2019, when Austin Ekeler totaled 101 at Jacksonville.

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Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs: NFL betting picks, odds and analysis

Betting analysis for Sunday’s game between the Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs.

One of the two early lines that I liked this week was the Chargers +6.5 against the Chiefs, but it looks like an even stronger play with the line up to 7 as of Thursday night.

The Chiefs simply have no interest in covering spreads for whatever reason. Kansas City is winning games but not by margin. One potential reason is that the Chiefs are atrocious defensively in the red zone. Opponents were 36-for-47 scoring touchdowns in the red zone against them last season. Opponents are off to an eight-for-eight start in two games so far. That is an 80% success rate over the last 18 regular-season games for the opposition inside the 20.

To this point, the Chiefs have scored on 55.6% of their drives and opponents have scored on 50%. The Chiefs have given up the most points per drive and scored the most points per drive.

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