Chiefs grades: Poor marks for Chiefs vs. Chargers. Kansas City’s now last in AFC West

·3 min read

Few teams win with a minus-four turnover ratio, and the Chiefs didn’t on Sunday, falling to the Los Angeles Chargers 30-24 at Arrowhead Stadium.

Patrick Mahomes finished with two interceptions, and fumbles by Tyreek Hill and Clyde Edwards-Helaire were too much to overcome. The Chargers scored 21 points on those giveaways.

The Chiefs, at 1-2, stand alone in last place in the AFC West, and the Chargers have won three of their last four games in Kansas City.

NEXT: The Chiefs visit the Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday. Kickoff is noon and will televised by CBS (Ch. 5).

KC STAR OF THE GAME

Tight end Travis Kelce came up with his first 100-yard game in 14 games against the Chargers. But he couldn’t connect with Patrick Mahomes late in the game, which led to Mahomes’ second interception and the Chargers’ game-winning score.

REPORT CARD

Passing offense: D

Describing the best throws of Mahomes’ career has been a fun and frequent exercise. The interception that ended the Chiefs’ first drive is among the worst.

The Chiefs had moved to the 33. Mahomes scrambled out of trouble and Marcus Kemp had broken free. Mahomes decided to no-look the throw, which was slightly behind Kemp, who was targeted for the first time this season. The ball bounced away and into the arms of Asante Samuel. A short completion to Tyreek Hill resulted a fumble from the usually sure-handed receiver.

Tight end Jody Fortson made an athletic leap to bring down Mahomes’ third-quarter touchdown pass. The touchdown pass on a screen to Clyde Edwards-Helaire that gave the Chiefs a 17-14 lead was an excellent play-call.

The final interception was a disaster. Mahomes was under duress but had a window to drop in the completion to Kelce. Instead, the overthrow was picked off, and Los Angeles was on its way to the game-winning score.

Rushing offense: B

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, whose fumble last week at Baltimore ended the Chiefs’ final possession in a one-point loss, was an emphasis of the offense Sunday — and he ran hard. But he lost another fumble. Unacceptable.

The Chiefs’ first three possessions ended in a turnover. The Chargers were intent on keeping Chiefs receivers in front of them, so safeties played deep. It allowed the Chiefs to have more success on the ground than in the first two games.

Edwards-Helaire topped 100 rushing yards, a first for a Chiefs player this season. But why run on first down on the first play after the Chargers had tied it? The 1-yard gain made it an uphill climb that led to Mahomes’ second interception.

Passing defense: F

Justin Herbert wasn’t sacked or even rattled in the first half. The Chiefs did a better job in that department after the break. Mike Danna picked up his first sack this season. But it wasn’t enough.

The Chiefs couldn’t avoid pass interference penalties in the final minutes. One, by L’Jarius Sneed in the end zone gave the Chargers first down from the 1. But L.A. had to settle for a field goal. The second was the true killer. DeAndre Baker was flagged for interfering with Jalen Guyton on fourth-and-9 from 35. A stop there would have given the Chiefs good field position for a potential game-winner.

Herbert tormented the Chiefs with four touchdown passes.

Rushing defense: B

The Chargers aren’t the Browns with Nick Chubb or the Ravens with Lamar Jackson, and it showed. Nobody broke through for a big gain on the Chiefs, who allowed 77 yards and 3.5 yards per attempt. As he often is, especially against the Chiefs, running back Austin Ekeler was a bigger threat as a pass catcher than runner.

Special teams: C

A face-mask call against Sneed on the Chiefs’ first punt return pushed them back to the Chargers’ 8. It would have been fun to see Harrison Butker get a chance at a walk-off attempt, just as it would have been last week in Baltimore.

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