INGLEWOOD, Calif. — The streak is alive.
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Los Angeles Chargers, 34-28, in overtime Thursday night and extended their winning streak to seven games.
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes connected with tight end Travis Kelce for the 38-yard, game-winning touchdown just over minute into the first possession of overtime. The Chiefs spilled onto the field at SoFi Stadium in celebration after the “walk off” touchdown.
“It was a battle,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “This was two heavyweights going after each other.”
Mahomes threw a costly interception and misfired on a what looked to be a sure-touchdown in the second half. But he made up for it with late-game heroics as the Chiefs (10-4) solidified their spot atop the AFC West with a two-game lead over the Chargers (8-6).
Mahomes completed 31 of 47 passes for 410 yards and threw touchdown passes on the Chiefs’ final three drives.
With three games left to play, the Chiefs overtook the New England Patriots (9-4) and the Tennessee Titans (9-4) in the hunt for the AFC’s No. 1 seed for the playoffs thanks to their ongoing turnaround.
The Chiefs lost three of their first four games this season and were 3-4 before reeling off seven straight victories.
With the game tied 21-21 late in fourth quarter, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert directed his team on an 11-play, 75-yard drive capped by an eight-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Keenan Allen for a 28-21 lead.
Herbert finished with 236 yards and two touchdowns on 22-for-38 passing with an interception.
After the Chiefs fell behind yet again, Mahomes needed just 93 seconds to lead the Chiefs down the field and connect with Kelce to tie the game 28-28 with 1:16 left in regulation.
The Chargers squandered scoring opportunities earlier in the game. Three times they failed to score points after driving to the Chiefs 5-yard line or deeper. Twice they were stopped on fourth down and on the third opportunity they fumbled.
The Chargers passed up another opportunity to attempt a field goal on fourth down and finished 2-for-5 on fourth-down conversions.
“I felt really comfortable with all those decisions,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said after the game.
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Mahomes was not at his best. Among the regrettable moments: In the third quarter, with the Chiefs facing 4-and-1 at the Chargers 2, he spotted an open Mecole Hardman but misfired. The ball well short of the receiver.
Later in the quarter, on third-and-3 at the Chiefs’ 9, he tried to loft a pass to Clyde Edwards-Helaire. But Chargers outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu leaped into the air, tipped the pass and caught it for an interception as he fell to the ground.
On the next play, running back Austin Ekeler scored on a two-yard touchdown run as the Chargers extended their lead to 21-13.
On the very next possession, Mahomes was delivering heroics. He found tight end Travis’ Kelce on a 69-yard pass that set up his 1-yard touchdown to pass to Tyreek Hill. He then connected with Edwards-Helaire for the two-point conversion, leaving the score tied 21-21.
In the first half, after the Chiefs jumped out to a 10-0, the Chargers rallied and took a 14-13 lead into halftime.
Travis Kelce scores the winning touchdown in overtime against the Chargers.
Donald Parham leaves game on stretcher
In the first quarter, play stopped for several minutes as medical personnel tended to Chargers tight end Donald Partham Jr. After dropping a pass from Justin Herbert in the end zone, Parham’s head slammed against the turf and appeared to at least briefly lose consciousness.
Medical personnel cut off Parham’s facemask before placing him on a backboard. He then was moved on a stretcher and teammates gathered around him in a show of concern. As Parham was taken off the field, his arms appeared to be shaking.
He was in stable condition undergoing tests, imaging and evaluation for a head injury at UCLA Harbor Medical Center, the press box announcer reported in the second half.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chiefs defeat Chargers in overtime on Travis Kelce’s touchdown