The San Diego Chargers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in overtime at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA. The Chargers improved to 9-7, and the Chiefs fell to 11-5.
The Chargers overcame a 24-14 fourth quarter deficit to beat the Chiefs in overtime. Chargers QB Philip Rivers completed 22 of 33 passes for 229 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. RB Ryan Mathews had 24 carries for 144 yards, and WR Keenan Allen caught five passes for 89 yards. Eddie Royal, Antonio Gates, and Ladarius Green all caught TD passes from Rivers.
With four seconds to go in the fourth, the Chargers’ season came down to a missed 41-yard field goal attempt by Chiefs place kicker Ryan Succop. The score was tied at 24, and the miss gave San Diego a chance to win in overtime.
In overtime, the Chargers won the toss and elected to receive. After a good drive to the Kansas City 18, Nick Novak hit a 36-yard field goal to give San Diego a 27-24 lead. The improbable Charger comeback was completed after Kansas City QB Chase Daniel threw an incomplete pass on 4th and 15.
The Chargers will play at Cincinnati in the first round of the playoffs. Earlier in the day, the New York Jets defeated the Miami Dolphins 20-7, and the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Baltimore Ravens 34-17, to give the Chargers a chance to grab the sixth seed in the AFC with a win. San Diego knocked the Pittsburgh Steelers out of the playoffs with today’s victory.
Kansas City will play at Indianapolis in the first round of the playoffs. The Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots receive first round byes in the AFC.
Regulation scoring recap: Kansas City jumped out to an early 7-0 lead after a 17-yard TD run by RB Knile Davis at 13:24 in the first. The play setting up Davis’ run was a brilliant 48-yard pass by backup QB Chase Daniel to backup WR A.J. Jenkins. If you don’t recognize the names, it is because 20 of the 22 Kansas City starters for today’s game were backups.
San Diego answered the Chiefs on their first possession with a 22-yard TD pass by Philip Rivers to LaDarius Green. The Nick Novak extra point tied the game at seven with 10:44 to go in the first. After a three and out by Kansas City, Rivers was picked off by Chief DB Ron Parker at the San Diego 23. With the excellent field position, Kansas City made it to the end zone after a Chase Daniel two-yard TD pass to WR Dexter McCluster. The Ryan Succop extra point gave the Chiefs a 14-7 lead at 5:12 in the first.
The Chargers tied the Chiefs on their next possession with a TD drive that bled into the second quarter. From the San Diego 20, Rivers led his team into the end zone with a 10 play, 80-yard drive. Capping the drive was an Antonio Gates four-yard TD reception at 14:56 in the second.
At 1:10 in the second, Knile Davis rushed two yards for his second TD of the game. The TD drive included 11 plays, covering 86 yards. San Diego was unable to put together a scoring drive to end the second, and the Chiefs led 21-14 at the half.
Coming out of the half, the Charger defense held the Chiefs to a 46-yard field goal at 7:30 in the third quarter. The Ryan Succop field goal would be Kansas City’s final score of the game.
The Chargers began the fourth quarter down 24-14, and completed a TD drive to get within a field goal of the Chiefs. The 10 play, 69 -yard drive ended with a six-yard TD pass to WR Eddie Royal at 11:50.
San Diego was stopped at the Kansas City 4 on their next drive, and elected to kick a field goal to tie the game at 24 with 3:24 to go.
*See top of page for overtime scoring recap.