Chargers keep Patrick Mahomes in check but still lose to Chiefs

November 19, 2019 0 By JohnValbyNation

MEXICO CITY — 

They limited Patrick Mahomes to his least productive first half as an NFL quarterback.

They caught Kansas City on a night when wide receiver Tyreek Hill was injured early and contributed no catches and zero yards.

The Chargers also benefited from the Chiefs losing two of their top running backs — Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy — to injuries.

And they still couldn’t overcome their inability to make the necessary plays late to avoid another one-score loss.

The Chargers weren’t victimized by Mahomes or Kansas City’s celebrated speed as much as they simply failed to come through when it mattered most.

“At the end of the day, we gotta make one more play and we’re not making it,” defensive lineman Damion Square said after the 24-17 loss to the Chiefs. “It’s a red-zone league. It’s a league that comes down to the last score of the game.”

The Chargers are now 4-7, with each of the losses coming by one score. They’ve fallen by a touchdown four times, by a field goal twice and by two points once.

And they just lost to the Chiefs despite Mahomes throwing for only 63 yards entering halftime, his career low for a first half.

Mahomes finished 19 for 32 for 182 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. Chargers free safety Rayshawn Jenkins made a nice leaping play for the pickoff.

Mahomes did gain a team-high 59 rushing yards on five carries, scrambling for key yardage in key moments. He was sacked once, by Melvin Ingram, who finished with five tackles and knocked down two passes.

In all, the Chargers kept Mahomes, the reigning league MVP, from taking over the game.

“He got loose a couple times,” Square said. “But that’s Pat, man. I feel like the game we played against Pat today was big. I mean, the guy’s special. He does some special things with the ball.”

The Chargers outgained the Chiefs (438 yards to 310), ran 13 more offensive plays and forced six punts.

Kansas City’s other famously fast wide receiver, rookie Mecole Hardman, caught only two passes for 13 yards. He also returned two punts for 22 yards.

“I loved the way they fought at the end,” coach Anthony Lynn said of his defense, “kept giving us chances, got the ball back several times.”

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Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers walks off the field during the second half of a game against the Chiefs on Nov. 18. 

(Eduardo Verdugo / Associated Press)

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Chargers receiver Mike Williams catches a 50-yard pass from quarterback Philip Rivers late in the fourth quarter of a game against the Chiefs in Mexico City. 

(Rebecca Blackwell / Associated Press)

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Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is sacked by Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark (55) and defensive tackle Joey Ivie (93) during a game Nov. 18 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. 

(Rebecca Blackwell / Associated Press)

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Chargers receiver Keenan Allen can’t make a catch against Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward during a game Nov. 18 in Mexico City. 

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

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The Chargers take the field before a game against the Chargers at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. 

(Rebecca Blackwell / Asssociated Press)

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The flags of Mexico and the United States cover the field before an NFL game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Estadio Azteca on Nov. 18 in Mexico City.  

(Eduardo Verdugo / Associated Press)

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Players for the Chargers and Chiefs warm up before an NFL game Nov. 18 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. 

(Eduardo Verdugo / Associated Press)

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Fans look on before an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 18 in Mexico City. 

(Eduardo Verdugo / Associated Press)

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Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers throws a pass during the first half of a game against the Chiefs on Nov. 18. 

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

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Chargers running back Austin Ekeler gets away from Chiefs defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon during the first half of a game Nov. 18. 

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

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Chargers running back Austin Ekeler reacts during the first half of a game against the Chiefs on Nov. 18. 

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

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Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes looks to pass during the first half of a game against the Chargers on Nov. 18 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. 

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

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Chargers strong safety Rayshawn Jenkins, center, celebrates an interception with his teammates during the first half of a game against the Chargers in Mexico City. 

(Eduardo Verdugo / Associated Press)

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Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy scores a touchdown during the first half of a game against the Chargers in Mexico City. 

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

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Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy celebrates after scoring touchdown against the Chargers in Mexico City. 

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

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Chargers running back Melvin Gordon leaps over Chiefs strong safety Tyrann Mathieu during the first half of a game Nov. 18 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. 

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

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Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce hauls in a pass against his helmet during a game against the Chargers on Nov. 18 in Mexico City.  

(Rebecca Blackwell / Associated Press)

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Chargers strong safety Rayshawn Jenkins (23) intercepts a pass intended for Chiefs receiver Demarcus Robinson (11) during a game Nov. 18. 

(Eduardo Verdugo / Associated Press)

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Chargers strong safety Rayshawn Jenkins celebrates after intercepting a pass from Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes during a game Nov. 18.  

(Eduardo Verdugo / Associated Press)

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Chiefs running back Darrel Williams (31) celebrates with offensive guard Andrew Wylie after scoring a touchdown against the Chargers on Nov. 18. 

(Rebecca Blackwell / Associated Press)

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Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Chargers on Nov. 18.  

(Rebecca Blackwell / Associated Press)

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Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes motions before a play during a game against the Chargers on Nov. 18. 

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

After the Chiefs scored on four consecutive possessions — three touchdowns and a field goal — during a stretch in the second and third quarters, the Chargers forced them to punt four times in the fourth quarter.

Given those opportunities, however, the offense produced zero points. The Chargers instead punted twice and Philip Rivers was intercepted two times.