NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 15 Game Recap: Kansas City Chiefs 34, Los Angeles Chargers 28

Inglewood, California, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) runs the ball against Los Angeles Chargers defensive back Trey Marshall (36) and defensive back Tevaughn Campbell (20) during the first half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs needed overtime to take down Los Angeles Chargers 34-28, as the Chiefs collected their seventh straight victory to kick off Week 15.


Click here for more PFF tools:

Rankings & ProjectionsWR/CB Matchup ChartNFL & NCAA Betting DashboardsNFL Player Props toolNFL & NCAA Power Rankings


Kansas City’s defense made just enough key stops to deliver the division-leading Chiefs a victory, as Patrick Mahomes threw for over 400 yards and three touchdowns. Justin Herbert dominated throughout yet was unable to make enough late plays to lead Los Angeles to victory.

Tackle Lifes financial Challenges. Western Southern Financial Group.
Sponsor

Kansas City Chiefs

Quarterback.

Mahomes was spectacular when it mattered most Thursday, throwing for 410 yards, three touchdowns and an interception on 31-of-47 passing. Mahomes was content to dink and dunk throughout the first half, posting a 5.4-yard average depth of target (aDOT) while just 18.8% of his attempts traveled past the first down marker.

Yet the former MVP came alive in the fourth quarter and overtime, tossing each of his three scores and one big-time throw while registering a 116.4 passer rating. Mahomes torched the blitz from the opening snap Thursday, finishing with 181 yards, two touchdowns and a 72.2% adjusted completion percentage when Los Angeles brought pressure. 

Target Depth Comps./Atts. Yds. Adj. Comp. % TDs
Behind L.O.S 8/11 47 72.7% 0
Short (1-9) 14/20 137 76.5% 2
Medium (10-19) 6/8 94 75% 1
Long (20+) 3/4 132 75% 0
Running Back

Clyde Edwards-Helaire did little with his lead-back workload Thursday, turning 11 touches into 50 total yards. He was most effective as a pass-catcher, totaling 18 yards from two receptions in the victory.  

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Tyreek Hill was Mahomes’ primary read from the opening snap Thursday, reeling in 12 of his 13 targets for 148 yards and a touchdown. The usually sure-handed Hill was especially proficient in the victory, posting a season-high 92.3% completion percentage. 

Travis Kelce broke out of his recent slump to catch 10 of his 13 targets for a season-high 191 yards. The All-Pro accrued a new season-best 104 yards after the catch, as his 69-yard catch and run midway through the fourth quarter was Kelce’s longest play from scrimmage since 2016.

Offensive Line

Kansas City’s offensive line thrived on Thursday night, allowing just one sack while facilitating a Chiefs rushing attack that averaged an impressive 4.3 yards per carry. Starting left guard Joe Thuney was the unit’s strongest performer in pass protection, finishing as the only Chiefs starting offensive lineman to not allow a single pressure in the victory  

Defensive Line

The Chiefs defensive line was mediocre rushing the passer Thursday, accumulating 10 unit-wide pressures and zero sacks, and struggled against the run, allowing 1.9 rushing yards before contact per carry. Interior defender Tershawn Wharton may have been the Chiefs' most impactful defender, registering a team-high four pressures while forcing Joshua Kelley’s goal-line fumble early in the fourth quarter.

Player Pass Rushing Snaps Total Pressures Sacks 
Melvin Ingram III 33 3 0
Tershawn Wharton 32 4 0
Jarran Reed 32 1 0
Frank Clark 27 2 0
Linebackers

Kansas City's linebackers combined for 31 tackles in Thursday’s victory, and Nick Bolton paced the group with 14. The group was less effective in coverage, allowing 51 yards and two first downs on seven receptions.

Secondary

The Chiefs secondary performed admirably Thursday, limiting the Chargers to 185 yards and two touchdowns from 15 receptions. Cornerback Mike Hughes drew a team-high 10 targets yet allowed just five receptions for 51 yards, allowing a team-high 98.3 passer rating.

Player Coverage Snaps  Receptions Allowed/Targets Yards Allowed Passer Rating Allowed
Charvarius Ward 40 2/6 40 57.6
Tyrann Mathieu 39 1/2 4 95.8
Mike Hughes 33 5/10 51 98.3
Rashad Fenton 32 3/4 23 88.5

Los Angeles Chargers

Quarterback

Herbert was excellent from the opening snap of Thursday’s contest, finishing with 236 yards through the air, two touchdowns and one interception on 22-of-38 passing. He was also proficient with his legs when necessary, totaling 16 yards on the ground, including a touchdown scamper midway through the second quarter.

Herbert was determined to push the ball downfield Thursday, posting a 9.9-yard aDOT while 50% of his attempts traveled past the first down marker. The former sixth overall pick was incredibly effective when using play-action, completing 10 of his 15 attempts for 113 yards and a touchdown.

While the majority of the blame can not be placed on him, Herbert’s fourth-down struggles may have ultimately been the deciding factor, as the Chargers signal-caller failed to complete any of his three fourth-down attempts.

Target Depth Comps./Atts. Yds. Adj. Comp. % TDs
Behind L.O.S 2/3 7 100% 0
Short (1-9) 12/17 103 70% 0
Medium (10-19) 6/10 70 60% 2
Long (20+) 2/4 56 50% 0
Running Back

Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson split lead-back duties for Los Angeles, as Jackson out-carried Ekeler 13 to 12 while Ekeler received four targets to Jackson’s one. Ekeler appeared hampered for much of the night yet still turned his 16 touches into 82 yards in the defeat. Jackson was the more proficient, totaling 99 yards, and he led all running backs with two forced missed tackles.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Keenan Allen hauled in six of his team-high 10 targets for 78 yards and a touchdown Thursday, leading all Chargers with five first-down receptions. Allen was most effective when the team needed it most, converting three of his four third-down targets into first downs.  

Jared Cook finished third on the Chargers with seven targets, catching three for 32 yards in the defeat. The 13-year veteran accounted for two first downs Thursday, operating primarily near the line of scrimmage, as he averaged 6.7 yards per target.

Offensive Line

Los Angeles’ offensive line flourished in the run game, powering the Chargers to a season-high 192 rushing yards. The unit was equally impressive in pass protection, allowing just 12 pressures and zero sacks in the defeat.

Defensive Line

The Chargers defensive line made its presence felt early and often Thursday, accruing 18 pressures and one sack while holding Chiefs rushers to just 0.8 rushing yards before contact per carry. Joey Bosa continues to make a major impact, totaling a team-best nine pressures, which included his ninth sack of the season.

Player Pass Rushing Snaps Total Pressures Sacks 
Uchenna Nwosu 43 4 0
Joey Bosa 43 9 1
Jerry Tillery 37 3 0
Justin Jones 37 2 0
Linebackers

Kyzir White led all Chargers defenders with nine tackles Thursday, finishing with a 2.67-yard average depth of tackle. White and his fellow Los Angeles linebackers were less proficient in coverage, surrendering seven receptions for 96 yards and five first downs.  

Secondary

Los Angeles’ secondary struggled against Kansas City’s rejuvenated aerial attack, allowing just 302 yards from 23 receptions to allow a 128.6 passer rating. Cornerback Michael Davis was targeted a team-high nine times, conceding four receptions for 52 yards while registering one of the unit's two forced incompletions. 

Player Coverage Snaps  Receptions Allowed/Targets Yards Allowed Passer Rating Allowed
Nasir Adderley 50 2/4 27 111.5
Michael Davis 50 4/9 52 100.2
Chris Harris Jr.  45 4/5 35 95.8
Tevaughn Campbell 43 5/6 59 147.2
Trey Marshall 33 5/5 80 118.8
Tackle Lifes financial Challenges. Western Southern Financial Group.
Sponsor

NFL Featured Tools

  • PFF's Best Bets Tool reveals the bets PFF's data and algorithms give the biggest edge to within spread, total, player prop, and moneyline markets.

    Available with

    Elite
  • PFF predictions and real time spread, moneyline and over/under lines for each NFL game.

    Available with

    Elite
  • PFF's Player Props Tool reveals betting opportunities within player prop markets.

    Available with

    Elite
  • Power Rankings are PFF’s NFL power ratings based on weekly player grades in each facet of play. These power rankings are adjusted based on coach, quarterback and the market each season.

    Available with

    Edge
  • PFF's exclusive metrics provide matchup previews, position rankings, grades, and snap counts.

    Available with

    Edge
  • Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NFL player performance data.

    Available with

    Elite
Pro Subscriptions

Unlock NFL Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

$9.99 / mo
$39.99 / yr

Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS

$34.99 / mo
$199.99 / yr