The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers will kick off Week 2 on Thursday night. If the game is comparable to the teams’ past two midweek outings, fans are in for an early-season thrill.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert have played against each other three times, with Mahomes owning a 2-1 edge. All three games have been decided by one score. Two of the games went to overtime, and the other was decided in the last minute.
Here’s a look at the past two games on Thursday, both played during the December stretch run:
2018: Chargers (10-3) at Chiefs (11-2)
Final: Chargers 29, Chiefs 28
Kansas City jumped to a 14-0 lead after the first quarter and three times led by two touchdowns.
Trailing 28-14, Los Angeles drove the ball 75 yards on 11 plays to cut the lead to 28-21. After forcing a Chiefs three-and-out, Chargers QB Phillip Rivers took the ball 60 yards in eight plays for the final touchdown, a one-yard pass to Mike Williams with four seconds remaining. The drive included a fourth-down conversion.
Then Rivers connected with Williams on the two-point conversion for the win.
“We didn’t come here to tie. We came here to win. So to me it was a no-brainer,” said Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn about the two-point conversion. The Chargers became the first team since Minnesota in Week 15 in 2002 to win with a two-point conversion in the final 10 seconds of regulation.
2021: Chiefs (9-4) at Chargers (8-5)
Final: Chiefs 34, Chargers 28 (OT)
In a come-from-behind victory, Mahomes needed only a minute late in the fourth quarter to take the Chiefs 75 yards for the tying score.
Then the Chiefs won the toss in overtime, and it took them a little more than a minute to win the game. Travis Kelce collected a pass in the middle of the field, ran around three defenders, cut left and sprinted 34 yards for the winning touchdown.
“Everybody is talking about him losing a step, [but] he looked fast to me,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said of the 32-year-old Kelce, who had his sixth career game with at least 10 catches. “His endurance down the stretch for an elder statesman — he’s not over the hill — his acceleration is something.”
Mahomes outdueled Herbert, throwing for 410 yards and three touchdowns to Herbert’s 236 yards and two touchdowns.