Quarterback Patrick Mahomes made his debut Sunday as Kansas City’s starting quarterback and passed for 256 yards and four touchdowns as the Chiefs toppled the host Los Angeles Chargers 38-28 in Carson, Calif.
Mahomes went 15-for-27 as the two-time AFC West champions won their ninth straight game over the Chargers.
Kansas City moved up 17 spots to draft Mahomes 10th overall in 2017. He then sat a year ago behind Alex Smith.
Mahomes immediately showed off chemistry developed with speedy wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who had seven catches for 169 yards, while scoring three touchdowns.
After the Chargers stalled on their first series, Hill returned a punt 91 yards for a touchdown and a quick 7-0 lead before two minutes had elapsed.
When the Chiefs’ offense got the ball for the first time, Mahomes connected with Hill on a 58-yard scoring bomb to go up 14-3. Another 30-yard catch gave Hill a whopping 179 all-purpose yards in just the first quarter, when he was also subjected to concussion protocol.
Los Angeles, a preseason pick by some to end Kansas City’s division reign, proved capable on offense with 541 total yards and 33 first downs. Nonetheless, the Chargers were hurt by long fields, drops, costly penalties and two turnovers.
Quarterback Philip Rivers entered his 13th season as the Chargers’ starting quarterback and responded with 424 yards passing and three touchdowns, going 34 of 51 with one interception.
His 20-yard pass to Keenan Allen, who had eight grabs for 108 yards, and a two-point conversion strike to Antonio Gates, narrowed the gap to 31-20 with 12:04 left.
The Chargers then forced a three-and-out, but J.J. Jones fumbled on a punt return after a strip by De’Anthony Thomas, which the Chiefs recovered at the Los Angeles 2.
Mahomes and Hill converted with a 1-yard shovel pass for their second TD connection and a 38-20 lead with 9:42 remaining.
The Chargers’ only first-half touchdown capped a 96-yard march as Austin Ekeler snagged a 13-yard pass from Rivers. A try for a two-point conversion failed, leaving Los Angeles down 14-12 before
Kansas City tacked on a field goal for a 17-12 halftime margin.
—Field Level Media