EditorsNote: Updates to Chiefs winning 29 of last 32 vs. AFC West in graf 6; corrects 2nd half to 2nd quarter in last graf; other minor edits
Running back Damien Williams rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries Sunday as the Kansas City Chiefs won their sixth straight, downing the Los Angeles Chargers 31-21 at Kansas City, Mo.
The Chiefs (12-4), who also relied on 174 yards passing from quarterback Patrick Mahomes, head to the AFC playoffs with a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed after Miami upset New England 27-24 and dropped the Patriots to the No. 3 seed.
On three of just five touches by the Chiefs in the third quarter, Mahomes threw an interception that the Chargers (5-11) converted into a touchdown, Mecole Hardman returned a kickoff 104 yards for a touchdown, and Williams scored on an 84-yard rush.
The frantic exchanges left Kansas City with a 24-14 lead.
Los Angeles quarterback Philip Rivers responded by engineering an 86-yard drive capped with an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Hunter Henry.
That made it 24-21 with 5:23 left, but Kansas City answered with a 77-yard march that Williams finished with a 7-yard scoring burst. The Chiefs swept their AFC West opponents and have won 29 of their last 32 against division rivals.
The 224th consecutive start for Rivers could have been the veteran quarterback’s last game for Los Angeles. He becomes an unrestricted free agent in March, after going 31 of 46 for 281 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Running backs Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon combined for 15 receptions for 119 yards, and Keenan Allen added nine for 82 yards and a score. The Chargers finished without a win against an AFC West opponent and last in the division.
The Chiefs’ defense surrendered its first touchdown in 11 quarters when Rivers connected with Allen for a 12-yard score at the 11:44 mark of the second quarter.
That gave Los Angeles a 7-3 lead.
But after drives of 15 and 11 plays only netted Kansas City three points, Mahomes found Demarcus Robinson for a 24-yard touchdown with 2:16 left in the second quarter. Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu grabbed a pick in the end zone to preserve the 10-7 lead at halftime.
—Field Level Media