Mahomes, Chiefs hold off Chargers in Mexico City

Chiefs 24 Chargers 17

MEXICO CITY — Daniel Sorensen picked off Philip Rivers’ fourth interception at the goal line with 18 seconds to play, and the Kansas City Chiefs stayed on top of the AFC West with a 24-17 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday night at Azteca Stadium.

Patrick Mahomes passed for 182 yards and hit Travis Kelce for his only touchdown, while LeSean McCoy and Darrel Williams rushed for touchdowns as the Chiefs (7-4) hung on to win the fourth regular-season NFL game played in Mexico despite a few problems with Azteca’s grass field and a one-sided first half favouring the Chargers (4-7), who racked up 312 yards without a touchdown.

After throwing his second interception of the season in the first half, Mahomes led two sharp scoring drives in the third quarter with help from Kelce, who caught seven passes for 92 yards. The Chiefs held Los Angeles to eight points in the second half, and Sorensen grabbed Rivers’ underthrown pass to Austin Ekeler at the goal line to secure the Chiefs’ 10th win over Los Angeles in 11 meetings.

Rivers passed for 353 yards during his first four-interception game since November 2016 for the Chargers, whose playoff hopes are nearly dead after five losses in seven games. Keenan Allen caught his first TD pass since Week 3 in the third quarter, but the Chargers had three inept drives in the scoreless fourth quarter.

On the Bolts’ last gasp, Mike Williams made a spectacular 50-yard catch with 44 seconds to play. Los Angeles reached the Kansas City 14 before Rivers’ final mistake. Rivers, who turns 38 next month, has thrown seven interceptions in the Chargers’ last two games.

One year after the NFL called off a game at Azteca Stadium on short notice because of poor field conditions, these teams played an entertaining game in the 7,200-foot elevation and on the Azteca grass, which yielded several significant divots from sharp stops or changes of direction.

The Rams and Chiefs were scheduled to play here last season, but severe damage to the turf field compelled the NFL to relocate the game to Los Angeles on six days’ notice.

Azteca removed its hybrid turf and installed natural grass this year, and the field had been untouched since Club América’s last home soccer game Nov. 2. The grounds crew came onto the field at halftime and during timeouts in the second half to attend to the worst spots.

The NFL and the stadium still threw an impressive party for 76,252 of Mexico’s football-loving fans, who packed the arena and mostly supported the Chargers, the nominal home team.

Although the teams spent less than 48 hours in Mexico’s capital city, the NFL has deep roots among fans around the country. Commissioner Roger Goodell met Monday with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador while the league and the federal government are considering extending the Mexico game series beyond its current deal through 2021.

The game was particularly special to Chargers cornerback Michael Davis, the son of a U.S. immigrant from Mexico City. Davis got to play in front of his grandparents for the first time.

But the Chargers trailed 10-9 at halftime despite outgaining Kansas City 312-109 and making five drives into Chiefs territory. Rivers threw two interceptions and Michael Badgley missed a 40-yard field goal attempt while making three others, wasting a defensive effort that included Rayshawn Jenkins picking off Mahomes.

Tyreek Hill left the field with a right hamstring injury after the Chiefs’ second offensive series, although it didn’t appear to be caused by the turf. The speedster watched the second half from the sideline.

Tyrann Mathieu’s 35-yard interception return set up McCoy’s 6-yard TD run for the game’s first touchdown in the second quarter. After Williams scored on the Chiefs’ opening drive of the second half, Mahomes hit Kelce with a picture-perfect 23-yard TD throw on the next drive.

Rivers and Allen answered with a TD connection late in the third quarter and a 2-point conversion. The two-time Pro Bowl receiver improbably hadn’t caught a TD pass since Week 3.

INJURIES

Chiefs: Along with Hill, RB Damien Williams was lost to a rib injury and safety Jordan Lucas went out with a shoulder injury. … Center Austin Reiter was evaluated for a concussion but returned.

Chargers: LT Russell Okung missed his second straight game with a groin injury. … Allen went down hard on the final play of a drive in the second quarter but returned.

UP NEXT

Chiefs: A bye week followed by an important visit from the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, Dec. 1.

Chargers: After a bye week, a trip to face the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Dec. 1.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Greg Beacham, The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cilantro and Chive was voted in the top three in no less than 13 different categories in the 2020 Best of Lacombe Readers Choice Awards. Photo by Megan Roth/Lacombe Express
Cilantro and Chive opening in Red Deer

There will now be two Cilantro and Chive locations. The restaurant announced… Continue reading

People wear face masks as they wait to enter a store in Montreal on October 24, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Canadian provinces hardest hit by COVID-19 reach sobering milestones

MONTREAL — The Canadian provinces hardest hit by the global COVID-19 pandemic… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal study details workers hit hardest by tax, benefit system for extra earnings

OTTAWA — Newly released documents show Finance Department officials calculated that workers… Continue reading

Cenovus. (The Canadian Press)
Cenovus to buy Husky Energy in deal valued at $23.6B, company will remain in Alberta

CALGARY — Cenovus Energy Inc. is buying Husky Energy Inc. in an… Continue reading

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 10:49… Continue reading

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
John Horgan says he will work across party lines to find ideas that work for B.C.

VICTORIA — British Columbia’s election results show a divided province with Liberal… Continue reading

President Donald Trump gestures from the top of the steps of Air Force 1 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. When people in the United States talk about moving to Canada to escape four more years of Donald Trump, it’s usually either a punchline or a pipe dream. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Susan Walsh
Move to Canada? A pipe dream for some Americans is a parachute for Canadian expats

WASHINGTON, Wash. — When people in the United States talk about moving… Continue reading

The Cogeco logo is seen in Montreal on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

President Donald Trump, left, and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden during the second and final presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Stock market investors are breathing a little easier despite potentially facing higher taxes as the possibility of a contested U.S. presidential election appears to be fading, say investment experts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Patrick Semansky
Markets concerns about contested U.S. election fading with Biden lead in polls

TORONTO — Stock market investors are breathing a little easier despite potentially… Continue reading

(File photo)
Ontario records more than 1,000 new daily COVID-19 cases for first time

Ontario is reporting more than 1,000 mew daily cases of COVID-19 for… Continue reading

Pope Francis delivers his message during the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope names 13 new cardinals, includes US Archbishop Gregory

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Sunday named 13 new cardinals, including… Continue reading

Dave Mercer, President of Unifor Local 2121, overlooks Conception Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador and the Terra Nova floating production vessel that is anchored there on Friday, October 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Daly
As N.L.’s oil industry sputters, the emotional toll of the cod moratorium looms large

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Dave Mercer spent the early 1990s roaming around… Continue reading

Most Read