The Los Angeles Chargers weren’t going to wait for overtime, and be at the mercy of the coin toss.
The Chargers mounted a great comeback after falling behind 28-14 late against the Kansas City Chiefs, and after Mike Williams scored on a touchdown with four seconds left to cut Kansas City’s lead to 28-27, Charges coach Anthony Lynn went for the win.
Fortune favored the bold. Williams somehow got wide open, Philip Rivers hit him for a two-point conversion and the Chargers won 29-28 in an epic comeback. The AFC West, which has looked like the Chiefs’ division to lose since Week 1 when they beat the Chargers in L.A., is suddenly tied.
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The Chiefs and Chargers are each 11-3. The Chargers need help to claim the division outright because the Chiefs hold the tiebreaker due to a better divisional record. The Chiefs have a tricky game at Seattle next week.
All of a sudden the AFC West race is back on.
Chiefs got off to a fast start vs. Chargers
The Chiefs took an early 14-0 lead and were in control for most of the game after that.
When the Chargers made it interesting in the third quarter, the Chiefs put together a long drive. Helped along by multiple Chargers penalties — some of which were questionable calls — the Chiefs went 63 yards on 13 plays. They chewed up 7:55. Damien Williams, filling in for injured Spencer Ware, who replaced released Kareem Hunt, scored his second touchdown of the night to push the lead to 28-14. At that point, a Chiefs win seemed wrapped up. With a win, they would have clinched the AFC West title.
The Chargers weren’t done. They drove for one score with a little less than four minutes left. Then the wheels fell off for the Chiefs. An illegal block penalty on the kickoff caused the Chiefs to start at their own 11-yard line. A Chargers sack on third down forced a punt. When the Chiefs’ great offense needed to run out the clock, it went three-and-out.
The Chargers have had a lot of problems against the Chiefs in recent years, but this was their time. Rivers hit two nice passes to Travis Benjamin, including a great touch pass on fourth down. Playing without running back Melvin Gordon and top receiver Keenan Allen, who came out of the game in the first half due to a hip injury, the Chargers wouldn’t give up.
Then they got a couple breaks near the goal line.
Chargers and Chiefs now tied up in AFC West
Rivers threw to Williams in the end zone, and Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller was called for pass interference. It was a questionable call, though Fuller grabbed Williams’ left arm. That put the ball on the 1-yard line with eight seconds left.
Williams, last year’s first-round pick who was the primary option with Allen out, was the target on the next play. He caught what looked like a touchdown, but the ball was moving as he hauled it in and went out of bounds. Maybe under the old catch rule, it would have been incomplete. This one stood as a touchdown. Then Lynn decided to go for two, and the Chargers completed a great comeback. The Chiefs’ celebration for winning the AFC West was put on hold.
The two best teams in the AFC looked like the two playing at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday night. Only one of them can get the AFC West title, and presumably the AFC’s No. 1 seed too. It looked all season like that would be the Chiefs, but after the Chargers’ comeback, that’s not such a sure thing anymore.
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