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Dublin: 4 °C Monday 16 December, 2019

Mahomes' Chiefs overcome Chargers and error-strewn Rivers in Mexico

The Kansas City Chiefs improved to 7-4 after overcoming the Los Angeles Chargers in Mexico.

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, center, is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark and defensive tackle Joey Ivie.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, center, is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark and defensive tackle Joey Ivie.
Image: Rebecca Blackwell

PATRICK MAHOMES AND the Kansas City Chiefs took advantage of an error-strewn Los Angeles Chargers display to claim a 24-17 victory in Mexico City on Monday.

Mahomes overcame a sluggish start and a slippery surface at the Azteca Stadium as the Chiefs maintained their place atop the AFC West at 7-4.

The Chargers meanwhile were left ruing another uneven display from veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, who threw four interceptions after tossing three picks in his previous outing.

The 37-year-old’s night ended on a miserable note as the Chargers chased a game-tying touchdown in the dying seconds.

After marching the Chargers upfield on a 77-yard drive inside the final two minutes, Rivers lofted a pass deep into the end zone intended for running back Austin Ekeler with 18 seconds left.

Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen read the play however and darted in to snatch the interception, sealing victory for Andy Reid’s side.

Rivers slumped to the turf in despair as the Chargers digested their seventh defeat of the season — all of them coming by margins of one score or less.

Rivers finished with 353 passing yards from 28 completions — almost double the 182 yards accumulated by opposite number Mahomes.

However while it was far from a vintage display from reigning NFL MVP Mahomes, the Chiefs quarterback converted crucial scoring opportunities when they arose.

Mahomes finished the first half with just 63 passing yards against Rivers’ 237, yet somehow had managed to shepherd the Chiefs into a 10-9 half-time lead in front of 76,000 fans.

Although much had been made beforehand of Mahomes long-range passing ability in the thin air of Mexico City, the Chiefs quarterback surprisingly excelled with the ball in hand. Mahomes rushed for 59 yards from five carries.

The decisive period came early in the third quarter, when Mahomes led the Chiefs on a nine-play 75-yard drive which culminated in a six-yard run from Darrel Williams for the touchdown to put Kansas City 17-9 ahead.

Mahomes then found tight end Travis Kelce with a 23-yard pass for the Chiefs’ third touchdown and a 24-9 lead.

The Chargers rallied with Rivers finding Keenan Allen with a seven-yard pass for a touchdown, followed by a successful two-point conversion.

But the Chargers’ hopes of a comeback ended with Rivers fourth interception of the game on the final drive.

Source: NFL/YouTube

© – AFP, 2019   

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