The Los Angeles Chargers outgained the Kansas City Chiefs and led in first downs and time of possession, but lost 38-28 Sunday as second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw four touchdown passes in his second NFL regular-season game.
Mahomes threw 1- and 36-yard touchdown passes to De’Anthony Thomas and Anthony Sherman in the third quarter, turning a 17-12 halftime lead to a 31-12 advantage at StubHub Center in the season opener for both teams.
Philip Rivers threw 20- and 4-yard touchdown passes to Keenan Allen and Tyrell Williams in the fourth quarter.
Rivers passed to Antonio Gates for a two-point conversion following Allen’s touchdown and Melvin Gordon ran for a two-point conversion after Williams’ touchdown.
Tyreek Hill returned a punt 91 yards for a touchdown one minute, 57 seconds in the game and caught a 58-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes later in the first quarter.
The Chargers narrowed the deficit to 14-12 on 45- and 35-yard field goals by Caleb Sturgis in the first quarter and a 13-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Austin Ekeler in the second quarter.
Rivers’ pass on the two-point conversion attempt after Ekeler’s touchdown was incomplete.
Harrison Butker kicked a 46-yard field goal for Kansas City 2:00 before halftime.
Mahomes completed 15 of 27 passes for 256 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown pass to Hill with 9:42 left.
Rivers completed 34 of 51 passes for 424 yards and three touchdowns. He had one pass intercepted, which Kansas City converted to a touchdown.
The Chargers led in total offense, 541 yards to 362, 33-19 in first downs and 34:26-25:34 in time of possession.
The Chargers were three for 11 in third-down conversions, 27.2 percent, the Chiefs four of 10, 40 percent. The Chargers were successful on the game’s only fourth-down conversion attempts.
The loss was the Chargers ninth straight to Kansas City and fifth in their past six openers.
The Chargers played without defensive end Joey Bosa, a Pro Bowl selection in 2017, because of an injured left foot.
Bosa led the Chargers with 99 tackles in 2017 and was seventh in the NFL with 12.5 quarterback sacks.
Gates caught two passes for 16 yards as he began his 16th season with the Chargers.
Team officials told Gates in April they would not re-sign him after he was replaced by Hunter Henry as the starter for the second game of the 2017 season and Virgil Green was signed as a free agent.
Gates has caught 114 touchdown passes, the most by a tight end in NFL history.
— City News Service