INGLEWOOD—There was a ‘Bolt’ of electricity surging through SoFi as the Los Angeles Chargers (8-6) hosted the Kansas City Chiefs (10-4) on Thursday, December 16. On the line was first place in the AFC West. Kansas City rallied for a 34-28 victory in overtime on a 34-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce, breaking the hearts of Chargers fans watching. The week started so promising with an overwhelming, 37-21 victory over the visiting New York Giants on Sunday, December 12. The game was not as close as the score indicated as the Chargers dominated in all facets of the game.
Although the loss stings, football took a back seat to real life as Chargers Tight End Donald Parham suffered a horrifying injury early in the first quarter as the back of his head slammed into the ground. He lied there unconscious until being placed on a stretcher, then taken to the hospital for further tests. He is in stable condition after suffering a concussion, and the 24-year old second year player would be released from the hospital on December 18 noted a spokesperson from UCLA speaking on a condition of anonymity.
“I’m just hoping for the best. Parham has been an incredible teammate and friend,” said Chargers Quarterback Justin Herbert.
It’s amazing any players on either side were able to play after that scary moment and it turned out to be a classic battle between two of the greatest quarterbacks of the modern era.
After trailing 10-0, the Chargers scored two straight touchdowns to go up 14-10. They gambled too many times on fourth down near the goal line, costing them momentum while leaving crucial points off the board. Going two for five on fourth down is not good enough to knock off the two-time defending AFC Champs.
“That’s going to be the mindset no matter who we play. I felt really comfortable with all of those decisions. That’s the way we’re going to play around here. When we have a quarterback like ours,” said Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley.
KC relied on their three biggest stars in this rollercoaster game. QB Patrick Mahomes threw for 410 yards, Wide Receiver Tyreek Hill had 12 receptions for 148 yards and a TD. Tight End Travis Kelce had the game of his life. He scored both the tying touchdown with 1:16 left in regulation, and the walk off 34-yard TD reception in OT.
Herbert threw two touchdowns and ran for another score, but the Chargers (8-6) came up empty on three red zone drives. Completing 22 of 38 passes for 236 yards and an interception.
Herbert threw a 13-yard TD pass to Keenan Allen, putting them up 28-21 with 2:16 remaining in the game. The Chargers D was unable to stop the Chiefs incredible offense.
The Chargers take on the Houston Texans in their next game on the road Sunday, December 26 at 10 a m. Despite going 1-1 in the span of four days a few things are crystal clear about this close-knit group; they have many young outstanding players and a great head coach in Brandon Staley. The most important is the second-year kid out of Oregon: Justin Herbert, who is establishing himself as not only an MVP candidate, but a once in a generation type of quarterback talent.