The game felt like a tale of two halves. The first half was an offensive shoot, while in the second half, the defenses took over. Special teams made the difference in the 31-17 Chiefs victory over the Chargers, falling to 2-4 on the season.
“We need to reset as a football team,” head coach Brandon Staley said.
This game was more about the same old story about the Chargers season. They are too inconsistent. First half, the defense can’t stop Mahomes or Kelce, and the offense is moving the ball and scoring points.
Defensively, the Chargers struggled, giving up 321 yards to Patrick Mahomes and 143 of those going to tight end Travis Kelce by halftime. They gave up six plays of over 20 yards or more in the first half.
They were only down 24-17.
In the second half, the defense was able to clamp down while the offense couldn’t get going.
The Chargers offense couldn’t convert on Chiefs turnovers and multiple punts.
Plain and simple, like they did against the Dolphins and Titans, the Chargers couldn’t take advantage of winning the turnover battle.
Kansas City coughed the ball up twice, to which the offense scored zero points.
With less than six minutes left in the half, Mahomes faced a third-and-12 when Khalil Mack got in his face while he threw a long pass intended for Mecole Hartman, but Asante Samuel Jr intercepted it.
They converted a third-and-seven when Herbert found Quentin Johnston for a 20-yard back shoulder pass. Two plays later, Omenihu sacked Herbert, and an 11-yard Everett reception was five yards short. They punted.
On the first drive of the second half, Mahomes found tight end Blake Bell for a seven-yard reception when Eric Kendricks knocked it out of his hands, and James recovered to give the Chargers offense a chance to get some points.
Herbert drove the offense up to the Kansas City eight-yard line when his pass was batted up by a Chiefs defender and intercepted by L’Jarius Sneed.
Regarding the punts, the Chiefs in the second half punted the ball three times after the fumble. The Chargers offense couldn’t pick up one first down.
They went three-and-out on three straight possessions. They ran the ball on third-and-three from their 31-yard line to gain only two yards. Herbert went to Allen on the next drive on third-and-seven, but Edwards almost intercepted it. Herbert went to Allen on the next third with five yards to go, and Gay batted it down.
After the third there-and-out, Mecole Hartman returned the punt 50-yards to set up the Chiefs’ offense in a good spot to put the game away. Hartman was traded from the New York Jets last Wednesday to make an immediate impact.
Mahomes threw a screen for Isiah Pacheco for an eight-yard touchdown, to which Arrowhead Stadium erupted. It put the Chiefs up at 31-17.
Herbert drove the Chargers up to the Chiefs 35-yard line when former teammate Drue Tranquill came up with a big sack. Two plays later, Herbert went deep for Allen, but it was intercepted by Bryan Cook.
Four losses in four similar ways sums up the first six games of this season.
“It is no one else’s responsibility but mine,” Staley said.