Here are four takeaways from the Chiefs’ Week 11 road matchup against the Chargers.
The Kansas City Chiefs went into SoFi Stadium looking to secure a win over the Los Angeles Chargers in a pivotal AFC West game that will almost surely have playoff implications. After some back-and-forth throughout the game and well into the fourth quarter, Week 11’s Sunday Night Football nightcap saw the Chiefs complete their second comeback against the Chargers this season and come out on top by a final score of 30-27.
Here are four takeaways from Sunday’s game.
1. Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce are special
The Chiefs won their 25th straight game in the month of November or December, and the duo of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce has been a massive part of that sustained success. The two superstars once again reminded the football world of their greatness in Los Angeles, with Mahomes passing for 327 yards and three touchdowns and Kelce being on the receiving end of six passes and all three of those scores. Mahomes now has a clear advantage in the MVP race, and Kelce continues to make an open-and-shut case to be in the Hall of Fame once he retires. Arguably the best one-two punch in the sport lived up to its legacy on yet another big stage.
2. The AFC West race might be over
This was a clear must-win game for the home team, as Los Angeles was two wins behind Kansas City and had already dropped one outing to them earlier in the year. With this loss, the Chiefs have a three-game lead over their rivals and also have a tiebreaker with seven games left to play. Barring something that would resemble a mini-collapse, it appears that the AFC West crown could be the Chiefs’ for the seventh year in a row. Considering how much hype there was about the division before the season, this development is a testament to how great the top team has been every year.
3. Isiah Pacheco and Skyy Moore stepped up
After flashing his potential a week ago against the Jacksonville Jaguars, seventh-round pick Isiah Pacheco showed exactly why there was so much hype surrounding him way back in training camp. The Rutgers product became the Chiefs’ first 100-yard rusher since Week 4 of last season, and he made numerous impressive plays out of the backfield. Additionally, wide receiver Skyy Moore had just seven catches all year before adding five more to his total and logging a career-high 63 yards in the process with multiple key receptions. Kansas City needed every bit of contribution from rookies, and two of the highest-profile ones got the job done on offense en route to a thrilling win.
4. Injuries continued to pile up
The Chiefs already came into the game with wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman on the shelf, and Kadarius Toney going down in the first half didn’t make matters better whatsoever. He wasn’t the only offensive player to get banged up for Kansas City, as running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffered an ankle injury and was ruled out. On defense, safety Juan Thornhill’s calf injury held him out for most of the night as well. The injury bug has paid a visit to the Chiefs as of late, and Sunday’s game was no exception. With plenty of football left to play this season, the infamous game of attrition is beginning to set in. Even though they came out on the winning side, it came with some negatives.