Sunday Night Football: Travis Kelce’s third touchdown leads Chiefs to late comeback win
The Chiefs broke the Chargers’ hearts yet again.
Patrick Mahomes threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce with 31 seconds remaining in Sunday Night Football, lifting the Chiefs to a 30-27 victory. It was the sixth and final lead change of a back-and-forth game that saw both teams score a touchdown in the final two minutes.
The Chiefs improved to 8-2, while the Chargers fell to 5-5.
In the teams’ first meeting on Sept. 15, it was Jaylen Watson’s 99-yard pick-six that broke a 17-17 tie in the fourth quarter in the Chiefs’ 27-24 win. The Chargers blew a 10-point, second-half lead in that one.
On Sunday night, the Chargers scored with 1:46 remaining on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Justin Herbert to Joshua Palmer. The key play on the 10-play, 64-yard drive was a 46-yard pass from Herbert to Keenan Allen to the Kansas City 16 on third-and-18.
The Chargers got the ball back to stay in the game with 6:47 left when Jerick McKinnon fumbled after Troy Reeder punched the ball out and Alohi Gilman recovered at the Los Angeles 36. It set up the Chargers’ go-ahead touchdown.
But the Chargers left too much time for Mahomes as the Chiefs needed only six plays and 1:15 to go 75 yards for the game-winner.
The Chargers got the ball back at their own 25 with 31 seconds left, but Chris Jones sacked Herbert and then Herbert threw an interception to Nick Bolton to end it.
The Chiefs outgained the Chargers 485 to 365 as Mahomes went 20-of-34 for 329 yards and three touchdowns. Isiah Pacheco had the team’s first 100-yard rushing game since Week 4 of last season, running for 107 yards on 15 carries. Kelce caught six passes for 115 yards and three touchdowns.
Herbert was 23-of-30 for 280 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Palmer made eight catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns, while Allen had five receptions for 94 yards in his return.
It was something of a battle of attrition. The Chiefs lost running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle), receiver Kadarius Toney (hamstring) and safety Juan Thornhill (calf), and the Chargers saw linebacker Kenneth Murray (neck), receiver Mike Williams (ankle) and safety Nasir Adderley (thumb) go out.