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    Chargers can’t contain Patrick Mahomes in loss to Chiefs
    • October 23, 2023

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A first-half offensive showcase between Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert and Kansas City Chiefs counterpart Patrick Mahomes turned into a second-half defensive grind Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. Mahomes and the Chiefs took a 31-17 victory, their sixth consecutive win.

    Herbert and the Chargers (2-4) couldn’t rally in the second half from a one touchdown deficit after each team’s offense put on a second-quarter show. Mahomes completed 32 of 42 passes for 424 yards with four touchdowns and one interception by game’s end for AFC-leading Kansas City (6-1).

    Herbert completed 17 of 30 passes for 259 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

    The Chargers were shut out in the second half.

    The Chiefs took a 24-17 lead by halftime, with Mahomes working his magic in the form of 20-for-23 passing for 321 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. His 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce broke a 17-17 tie with 15 seconds remaining in the first half.

    Herbert, playing for the second consecutive game with the fractured middle finger on his left hand protected by padding and a white glove, did what he could to match all that the Chiefs had to offer in the opening half, which was plenty. Herbert completed 10 of 14 passes for 159 yards and one touchdown.

    Kansas City got the ball back with a little more than two minutes left in the half, and Mahomes drove the Chiefs 96 yards in six plays over 2:33 for the go-ahead score. Kelce’s touchdown reception was his ninth catch of the half on nine targets from Mahomes for a total of 143 yards.

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    Chargers running back Joshua Kelley’s 49-yard touchdown run that tied the score 10-10 was the first TD the Chiefs had given up this season of 20 yards or more. Kelley gained 61 of the Chargers’ 96 yards rushing in the first half. Kelley had four carries. Austin Ekeler had 22 yards on seven carries.

    After a 35-point second quarter, the teams were scoreless in the third, with Kansas City taking its 24-17 lead into the fourth. The Chargers shifted into more man-to-man coverage against Kelce after halftime, an adjustment that worked to great effect and kept them in striking distance.

    Kelce had 12 catches for 179 yards by game’s end.

    ​ Orange County Register