Kareem Hunt, Alex Smith Lead Chiefs to Blowout Win over Philip Rivers, Chargers

Kareem Hunt, Alex Smith Lead Chiefs to Blowout Win over Philip Rivers, Chargers
Nick Canepa's Chargers report card: at Kansas City
Notifications on the latest stories and events, as they happen.Terez A. Paylor: 816-234-4489, @TerezPaylor. Download Red Zone Extra, The Star’s Chiefs app.

With defense leading charge, Chiefs beat Chargers 30-13 to take control of AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs are getting red hot at the right time
Kansas City Chiefs are getting red hot at the right time

For the first month, poor tackling, miscues, penalties and turnovers contributed to an 0-4 start.The Chiefs have never had a 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers in the same season.

Kansas City Chiefs are getting red hot at the right time

The offense became stagnant and the defense was defenseless. As the Chiefs hit bedrock, the narrative turned to firings and trades, benching and tirades.@ChargersRHenne Drupal.GPT.registerSlot(‘ad-manager-ad-ad-article-300×250-inline-1’,{“outofpage”:false,”targetedAdUnit”:””,”refresh”:true,”size”:{“0″:””,”960″:[[300,250]]},”targeting”:{“s1”:[{“value”:”news”,”eval”:0}],”s2″:[{“value”:””,”eval”:0}],”s3″:[{“value”:”Bolts_Refuse_to_Pin_Loss_on_Litany_of_Injuries”,”eval”:0}],”s4″:[{“value”:””,”eval”:0}]},”campaignAd”:false}); Drupal.GPT.registerSlot(‘ad-manager-ad-ad-default-300×100-1’,{“outofpage”:false,”targetedAdUnit”:””,”refresh”:true,”size”:{“0″:[[300,100]]},”targeting”:{“s1”:[{“value”:”news”,”eval”:0}],”s2″:[{“value”:””,”eval”:0}],”s3″:[{“value”:”Bolts_Refuse_to_Pin_Loss_on_Litany_of_Injuries”,”eval”:0}],”s4″:[{“value”:””,”eval”:0}]},”campaignAd”:false}); Recent Videos Chargers vs. Chiefs Highlights Watch to see the best moments in the Saturday night matchup between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Watch

Chiefs on a mission, Lions keep playoff hopes alive

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoffTwo plays later, Rivers floated a pass downfield and Peters leapt up to make an easy interception, with his long return setting up first-and-goal at the Chargers six-yard line. The Chiefs failed to find the endzone, but a Harrison Butker field goal extended their lead.

NFL: Kansas halt Chargers' winning run

And to do it, they’ll likely need the aggressive-yet-controlled, passionate and dynamic version of Peters that showed up against L.A.

Images by Getty Images and US PresswireHunt also had a touchdown catch for the Chiefs (8-6), whose eighth straight win over the Chargers all but sewed up the division title and a spot in the playoffs. The only way Kansas City can squander it is by losing its last two games and the Chargers or Oakland Raiders winning out.

Chargers-Chiefs score, takeaways: Kansas City blows out LA in AFC showdown

11:12 p.m.: Turnover Chargers. Los Angeles comes up just short on a third-and-8 and it elects to go for it on fourth down. Rivers drops back to pass on the play and the Chiefs bring pressure. Rivers lofts a throw to Antonio Gates and the ball is intercepted by Kansas City linebacker Justin Houston. Three straight Los Angeles drives have ended with a turnover. 

Chiefs Take Control of AFC West, and Lions Stay in the Playoff Hunt

window.console && console.log && console.log(“ADS: queuing native-story-top-5803af11649e5 for display”); var cbsiGptDivIds = cbsiGptDivIds || []; cbsiGptDivIds.push(“native-story-top-5803af11649e5”); Although Hunt did a lot of his damage on the ground with 155 rushing yards, he also proved to be a huge weapon for Smith through the air, catching seven passes for 51 yards and a touchdown. The highlight for the Chargers was one that San Diegans can appreciate even if they don’t cheer Dean’s team.

Two plays later, Rivers floated a pass downfield and Peters leaped up to make an easy interception, and his long return set up first-and-goal at the Chargers 6. The Chiefs nearly turned it into another TD when Smith found Hunt again, but the tip of the ball hit the turf for an incompletion.You must select a newsletter to subscribe to.

Rivers could have been berating himself. The Kansas City Chiefs had just intercepted his pass into double coverage. He could have been upbraiding receiver Tyrell Williams, too, whose wandering route made him look like a tourist without a map.

Kansas City scored 17 points off of three turnovers committed by the Chargers. Three interceptions thrown by quarterback Philip Rivers didn’t matter at all. In his two games versus the Chiefs, Rivers’ passed for 500 yards, one touchdown and six interceptions.

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker (7) celebrates his 51-yard field goal against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Chiefs on a mission, Lions keep playoff hopes alive
Chiefs on a mission, Lions keep playoff hopes alive
That’s how it almost always is with Peters, who tend to allow others to interpret both his play and behavior, which this season has included multiple interactions with officials that have drawn personal foul penalties, a late hit that sparked a scrum in a game against the Raiders and expletives directed at fans unhappy with Peters’ decision to protest during the national anthem.The Chiefs have won eight straight games against the Chargers, matching the team’s longest win streak over the Chargers franchise (from 1990-93).

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The Chargers have suffered injuries here and there over the course of the season, just like every other team in the NFL.

The Chiefs lost six of seven after that great start to the season, but when they needed a win on Saturday night, they looked like the team that was so good a few months ago.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) calls a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
The franchise that started 2017 by moving two hours up the 5 freeway is ending the year stuck in neutral.
Peters hushed his haters for at least a weekend by dominating the defensive side of the field. Two interceptions and a forced fumble will definitely warrant forgiveness and remind those who have issues forget the things that bother them.Antonio Gates got open in the end zone, and Rivers hit him for a touchdown.

Chiefs overwhelm turnover-prone, injury-riddled Chargers

Linebackers: FTackling (by all) was terrible after it appeared the problem had been solved. Is Kareem Hunt Jim Brown? He ran for 155. An unexceptional group wasn’t helped when Denzel Perryman went down (and out) near the end of the half with a hamstring. Jatavis Brown had a rather large offside on third down, then got hurt.

Chiefs take command of AFC West race with 30-13 win over Chargers

Quarterback Philip Rivers didn’t mince words following the tough loss.Chargers special teams didn’t look so special It’s not often that you can blame part of your loss on your punt coverage team, but the Chargers could definitely make that argument after watching their coverage team make two huge gaffes in Kansas City. Hunt also added another distinction to his rookie season. In the third quarter, he surpassed Joe Delaney’s Chiefs rookie record for rushing yards in a season. Delaney amassed 1,121 yards with the Chiefs in 1981.

#Chiefs inactives tonight:QB Tyler BrayCB Phillip GainesS Leon McQuayLB Ramik WilsonDL Justin HamiltonOL Parker EhingerCB Keith Reaser

Kansas improved to 8-6, while Los Angeles could be joined on 7-7 by the Oakland Raiders, who host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.

Highlights of the Kansas City Chiefs' clash with the Los Angeles Chargers in week 15 of the NFL. Highlights of the Kansas City Chiefs’ clash with the Los Angeles Chargers in week 15 of the NFL. Alex Smith threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns and Kareem Hunt ran for 155 yards and a score as the Kansas City Chiefs routed the Los Angeles Chargers 30-13 to seize control of the AFC West.

Tyreek Hill, Melvin Gordon trade TDs as Chiefs take 10-6 lead into halftime

The defense was very good, led by cornerback Marcus Peters. Peters’ play trailed off during the losing streak, then he was suspended by coach Andy Reid for last week’s game after he threw an official’s flag into the stands. On Saturday night Peters was on a mission. He made four enormous plays: An interception and a long return late in the third quarter to set up a field goal, a forced fumble in the fourth quarter, and a nice tackle on a third down to force fourth-and-short. Philip Rivers threw an interception on the next play. And then with the game all but over, Peters sealed the win with another interception in the final two minutes. The Chargers had one turnover in their four games leading up to Saturday night. They had four turnovers in a four-possession stretch in the second half Saturday, falling apart like they have too often over the past few years.“He had the suspension and then he came back, he was great all week and he was great today,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.

The Chiefs answered with a methodical, 69-yard scoring drive of their own. Hunt supplied most of the work, and he capped the drive by catching Smith’s short touchdown toss to give the Chiefs a 17-13 lead.

Detroit Lions remained in wildcard contention with a 20-10 victory against the Chicago Bears.This Chiefs season has had some extreme peaks and valleys, but with two weeks left Kansas City seems to be a near lock to win a division title. And if they finish that job, maybe the best version of the Chiefs — the one we saw Saturday night — will stick around for January too.

Chiefs win critical AFC West match-up over Chargers 30-13

Offensive line: C+Rivers was sacked twice, but line didn’t lose this. Dan Feeney had a take-down hold and then allowed a big sack that ruined a drive. Russell Okung limped off in the third quarter. Joe “Turnstile” Barksdale went down (again), then returned, then went down again.Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier suffers apparent back injury.But the Chiefs responded with a 12-play, 69-yard drive capped by Hunt’s three-yard TD catch.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt (27) celebrates his touchdown in front of Los Angeles Chargers safety Tre Boston (33) during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Darius Slay highlighted a strong defensive performance for the Lions, intercepting two passes as Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was picked off three times.Russell Okung and Adrian Phillips (who was having an uneven night).

The Chargers had led 13-10 early in the second half, but quarterback Philip Rivers threw three costly interceptions on the night, two of them to Marcus Peters, while Austin Ekeler also coughed up a fumble down the stretch.

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“It felt like a playoff game,” Parker said. “This is the closest thing it gets to a playoff game.”

It all added up to an eighth straight win over the Chargers.

“You’d love to have everybody healthy, but the guys stepped up,” added Philip Rivers.  “Sam (Tevi) and Michael (Schofield) stepped in there and battled.  Hopefully Joe and Russell will be alright.  Shoot, we lost guys on defense.  We had a bunch of guys come out of the game today, and that certainly didn’t help us.  But that’s certainly not an excuse.”

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Halftime analysis for Chiefs vs. Chargers, Week 15

to 8-6 on the year, while Los Angeles fell to 7-7.

How they’ve done itThe impressive thing isn’t that they won, but how they won those games. Kareem Hunt has rushed for 271 yards combined in the last two games. He gained over 200 total yards of scrimmage against the Chargers alone. The second coming of Hunt has come at the right time for Kansas City. He brings the balance that is needed for this offense to strive.

Winners, losers in Chargers' 30-13 loss vs. Chiefs

Nick Canepa's Chargers report card: at Kansas City
Nick Canepa's Chargers report card: at Kansas City

“I think the hardest part of it is that while it’s not necessarily over yet, now you’re not in control,” echoed Rivers.  “You’ve got to make sure you take care of the next couple, but then you need certain things to happen.  So that is the toughest part, to claw our way (to) right here and taste it again, and then not play very well.” Read

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