Advertisement
Share

Chargers defense finds success in limiting Chiefs chunk plays

Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is tackled by Chargers defensive tackle Linval Joseph and Isaac Rochell.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (25) is tackled by Chargers defensive tackle Linval Joseph (95) and defensive end Isaac Rochell on Sunday at SoFi Stadium.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The Chargers talked all week leading up to kickoff Sunday about the importance of limiting Kansas City’s big plays.

They did an admirable job, even though the Chiefs, naturally, managed to get them once. And once was just enough in a game that would end in a 23-20 Kansas City victory in overtime.

Coordinator Gus Bradley’s defense, which is built on the idea of preventing chunk gains, yielded only one play that netted more than 22 yards. Patrick Mahomes hit Tyreek Hill for a 54-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

The Chargers lost to the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs in overtime, but L.A. rookie Justin Herbert performed well in his first NFL start, which was a surprise to all.

Advertisement

“That’s what you have to do against this team,” coach Anthony Lynn said afterward. “You have to limit their explosive plays and slow them down that way. I thought we did that for the most part until the second half.”

Hill got deep on the Chargers and Mahomes, rolling to his right, fired an absurdly accurate pass that Hill grabbed near the goal line before rolling into the end zone.

He fitted the football between two defenders, including cornerback Chris Harris Jr.

“That was just a great throw by Mahomes,” Harris said. “He kind of put it right in the middle where nobody could really touch the ball. That’s just who he is. He’s a great quarterback.”


Advertisement