Hill leads the Chiefs to 38-28 win over Chargers

CARSON, Calif. — Tyreek Hill scored three touchdowns, Patrick Mahomes passed for his first four NFL scores and the Kansas City Chiefs opened the season with a 38-28 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

Hill had a 91-yard punt return for a score and a 58-yard TD reception during the first quarter before adding a 1-yard reception for a score in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

Hill also had 169 yards on seven receptions, which is the second-most yards by a Chiefs receiver in an opener, according to Pro Football Reference. Carlos Carson had 173 yards receiving against New Orleans in 1985.

Mahomes, who moved into the starting spot after Alex Smith was traded to Washington in the offseason, was 15 of 27 for 256 yards as the Chiefs extended their winning streak over the Chargers to nine.

After the Chargers got the opening kickoff but went three-and-out, Hill took Drew Kaser’s punt 91 yards for a touchdown just 1 minute, 57 seconds into the game. The third-year receiver fielded the punt near the right hash mark, but quickly found an opening up the left sideline.

It was Hill’s fourth punt return for a touchdown in 32 games and the Chiefs’ league-leading seventh since 2013.

After Caleb Sturgis’ 45-yard field goal got the Chargers on the board, Mahomes threw his first touchdown pass in the NFL, connecting with Hill for 58 yards. Hill caught the pass at the Chargers 47 and eluded a diving tackle by Jahleel Addae as he found a seam up the left sideline.

Los Angeles would get within two at 14-12 with 7:47 remaining in the second quarter on Philip Rivers’ 13-yard touchdown pass to Austin Ekeler. The Chargers were unable to tie as their 2-point attempt failed.

Kansas City would take control in the third quarter on a pair of TD passes by Mahomes passes to make it 31-12. He had a 1-yard shovel pass to De’Anthony Thomas and then had a 36-yard score to Anthony Sherman after Ron Parker intercepted a pass by Rivers at the Chiefs 14.

A 20-yard TD reception by Keenan Allen and 2-point conversion catch by Antonio Gates brought the Chargers within 11, but JJ Jones’ fumble of a punt at the Chargers 2 and subsequent Hill touchdown made the deficit too much to overcome.

Rivers had a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, a 20-yarder to Allen and 4 yards to Tyrell Williams.

Rivers was 34 of 51 for 424 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Allen had eight receptions for 108 yards and Melvin Gordon nine for 102.

INJURIES

Chargers: RT Joe Barksdale was carted off after injuring his right knee during the first quarter and did not return. He missed five games last season due to a turf toe injury.

UP NEXT

Chiefs: Road trip continues next Sunday at Pittsburgh. Kansas City has dropped three of its last four to the Steelers in the regular season.

Chargers: Travel to Buffalo next Sunday in the first of two straight road games. The Chargers have won three straight and five of the last six against Buffalo.

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20183:26 pm

Tyreek Hill got the season off to an electrifying start, returning a punt 91 yards for a TD. The Chargers answered with a field goal, and Hill answered with his second TD of the day, a 58 TD catch from Mahomes 

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20183:30 pm

Austin Ekeler makes a nice catch off a deflection at midfield, a shot to the head will net 15 more yards for Los Angeles, now in Chiefs territory. KC leads 14-3.

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20183:36 pm

Chiefs defense holds Chargers to what would have been a 54 yard field goal, LA opts to pooch punt instead

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20183:43 pm

Chiefs defense stands up strong again on 3rd down, forcing LA to make a decision on 4th down at the Kansas City 20, still trailing 14-3. 

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20183:44 pm

Chargers kick a field goal instead of going for it, now trail 14-6 with the first quarter winding down. 

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20183:47 pm

Tyreek Hill makes an acrobatic catch to end first quarter, but needs medical attention as it looks like he may have hurt his hand or wrist. Chiefs lead Chargers 14-6 headed to the second quarter.

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20183:51 pm

Replay shows Hill fell on shoulder and his head, awaiting official word but he may be getting monitored for a concussion. Chiefs stall at midfield after Mahomes nearly found De’Anthony Thomas in the end zone on a deep throw. 

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20183:52 pm

Broadcast confirms Hill is in the initial stages of the concussion protocol

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20184:04 pm

Chargers finally finish a drive, Rivers finds Austin Ekeler in the end zone for LA’s first TD, they’re going for 2

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20184:05 pm

Chiefs lead 14-12 after Chargers fail on the 2-pt attempt. 

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20184:09 pm

Tyreek Hill back into the game as Chiefs are back on offense, but Hunt takes a carry for 3, and Mahomes has an option keeper for a first down at the San Diego 36

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20184:36 pm

Chiefs take a 17-12 lead into the half. Chiefs offense cools after Tyreek Hill’s electrifying first quarter. Chargers bedeviled by wide receiver drops in the first half. 

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20184:55 pm

Chiefs driving on first offensive possession of second half, first and goal KC from the 4. 

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20184:59 pm

Great drive ends with a great play: De’Anthony Thomas goes in motion, takes a toss from Mahomes into the end zone for a 21-12 lead.

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20185:00 pm

Chiefs actually lead 24-12

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20185:17 pm

Chiefs offense is clicking, Mahomes finds Anthony Sherman, yes, the fullback, down the sideline for a touchdown, Kansas City now leads 31-12. 

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20185:30 pm

Chargers answer the Chiefs with a drive down the field capped off by a TD catch from Keenan Allen. Two-point try is good to Antonio Gates, game is now 31-20 in Kansas City’s favor.

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20185:34 pm

Chiefs offense hits a roadblock, will have to punt back to Los Angeles with 10:35 left in the 4th quarter. Chargers look to get decent field position.

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20185:35 pm

Instead the returner fumbles, Kansas City recovers inside the 5

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20185:49 pm

Chargers forced to for it on 4th down from KC 27 and convert for a first and goal down inside the 5. 

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20185:51 pm

Chargers score and convert the 2-point conversion to make it 38-28. 5 minutes left leaves them a decision on whether to try an onside kick. 

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20185:54 pm

Chargers opt to kick long and play defense, Kansas City can salt away most of the clock with two first downs.

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20185:56 pm

It’s 3 and out for the Chiefs, Chargers keep all three timeouts and will get the ball back with about 3 minutes to play, trailing 38-28.

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20185:57 pm

Good punt will have the Chargers on their own 14, 3:05 to play in the game. 

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20186:01 pm

Chargers are moving. A pass to Ekeler puts them past midfield at the two-minute warning, there’s 1:57 left to play. 

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20186:07 pm

Two incompletions and a busted play to Gordon leave the Chargers with no choice but to attempt a field goal, it’s no good and KC still leads 38-28 with only 1:06 left to play. 

Andrew Lynch September 9, 20186:15 pm

Time runs on the Chargers comeback attempt, Kansas City wins 38-28 to open the 2018 season. That’s Kansas City’s 9th straight win over the Chargers