Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (L) runs past Los Angeles Chargers defender Trey Marshall during fourth quarter action Thursday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Patrick Mahomes connected with All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce for game-tying and game-winning scores to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to a dramatic overtime victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night Football.
Mahomes completed 31 of 47 passes for 410 yards and three scores in the 34-28 triumph at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. Kelce totaled 191 yards and two scores on 10 catches.
"I don't think I've ever been part of a walk-off touchdown or anything like that," Mahomes told reporters.
"So, to be in that moment, find him underneath and him making such a dynamic play where he cut back ... you'd think he's old, so he can't run by people, but he's still running by people and he got in the end zone.
"It was just a special moment and I'm glad that all that hard work that he puts in every single day is paying off."
The AFC West division foes combined for 924 total yards and 54 first downs. The Chargers out-gained the Chiefs 192 to 86 on the ground.
The Chiefs took an early 10-0 lead with a Michael Burton touchdown run and a Harrison Butker field goal on their first two possessions.
Quarterback Justin Herbert and the Chargers responded with 14 unanswered points to take a 14-10 lead into halftime. Herbert ran for a 1-yard score about six minutes into the second quarter and threw a 4-yard touchdown to wide receiver Jalen Guyton with 3:15 left in the half.
The Chargers opted out of a chance to kick a field goal to end the half, and failed on a 4th-and-1 opportunity at the Kansas City 1-yard line.
The Chiefs cut the lead to one point with a Butker field goal to open the third quarter. Mahomes threw an interception and gave the ball to the Chargers at the Chiefs 2-yard line with 9:39 remaining. Chargers running back Austin Ekeler took a handoff on the next snap and ran in for a score, giving his team a 21-13 edge.
Mahomes then caught fire down the stretch, connecting with Kelce for a 69-yard sequence on the next drive that ended with a touchdown toss to Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs then made a two-point conversion.
Herbert's Chargers answered with an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. The second-year quarterback ended the possession with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Allen. Mahomes connected with Kelce for a 7-yard score about a minute later, which led to overtime.
Kansas City won the coin toss and took the ball to start, after which Mahomes marched the Chiefs to the Chargers 34-yard line in about 74 seconds.
In the game's final snap, Mahomes stepped back in the pocket and connected with Kelce as he ran across the middle of the field.
Kelce caught the ball at the 30-yard line and faced three Chargers defenders. He came to a quick stop, which faked out the trio, and bolted to his right. Kelce then weaved through the crowd and raced to the end zone for a walk-off score.
According to the NFL's overtime rules, if a team scores on the very first possession of the extra period, the opposing team doesn't get a possession and the game is over.
"I have full respect for Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill," San Diego head coach Brandon Staley said. "You're not going to beat that team if those three have performances like that.
"We were down a bunch of guys, there's no doubt about that, but that's life in the NFL. We need to make sure that the next time, that we have a good plan, when that happens, and that ultimately falls on me.
Hill totaled 148 yards and a score on 12 catches for the Chiefs. Herbert completed 22 of 38 passes for 236 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, in addition to his rushing score.
Chargers running back Justin Jackson totaled 99 yards from scrimmage on 14 touches. Ekeler, who was limited due to injury, totaled 82 yards from scrimmage and a score on 16 touches in the loss.
The Chargers (8-6) next travel to face the Houston Texans (2-11) and Kansas City (10-4) hosts the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-6-1). Both games are scheduled for Dec.26.
Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce (L) runs past Los Angeles Chargers' Trey Marshall during fourth-quarter action at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., on Thursday. The Chiefs rallied to defeat
the Chargers in overtime 34-28. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo