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Sports >  NFL

Kansas City picks off Chargers’ Rivers four times in win

UPDATED: Mon., Nov. 18, 2019

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, center, is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark (55) and defensive tackle Joey Ivie (93) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, in Mexico City. (Rebecca Blackwell / Associated Press)
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, center, is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark (55) and defensive tackle Joey Ivie (93) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, in Mexico City. (Rebecca Blackwell / Associated Press)
By Greg Beacham Associated Press

MEXICO CITY – Daniel Sorensen picked off Philip Rivers’ fourth interception at the goal line with 18 seconds to play, and the Kansas City Chiefs stayed on top of the AFC West with a 24-17 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday night at Azteca Stadium.

Patrick Mahomes passed for 182 yards and hit Travis Kelce for his only touchdown, while LeSean McCoy and Darrel Williams rushed for touchdowns as the Chiefs (7-4) hung on to win the fourth regular-season NFL game played in Mexico despite a few problems with Azteca’s grass field and a one-sided first half favoring the Chargers (4-7), who racked up 312 yards without a touchdown.

“I was real proud of our defense for the job that they did,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “Four takeaways, so for the guys that intercepted the football and then helped create the turnovers, I’m proud of those guys.”

After throwing his second interception of the season in the first half, Mahomes led two sharp scoring drives in the third quarter with help from Kelce, who caught seven passes for 92 yards. Mahomes also led the Chiefs with 59 yards rushing while his defense – which had only six interceptions all season coming into Mexico City – held Los Angeles to eight points in the second half.

But the win still wasn’t assured until Sorensen grabbed Rivers’ underthrown pass to Austin Ekeler at the goal line to secure the Chiefs’ 10th win over Los Angeles in 11 meetings.

“We kept that confidence all game long,” Mahomes said. “We knew that someone was going to make a play to win the game. That’s a great football team, and we found a way to get a win against a division opponent.”

Rivers passed for 353 yards during his first four-interception game since November 2016 for the Chargers, whose playoff hopes are nearly dead after five losses in seven games. Keenan Allen caught his first TD pass since Week 3 in the third quarter, but the Chargers had three inept drives in the scoreless fourth quarter.

“He went out and he gave it his all,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said of Rivers. “He made some mistakes, and he understands that. But I thought he did some good things and put us in positions where we did move the ball down the field.”

On the Bolts’ last gasp, Mike Williams made a spectacular 50-yard catch with 44 seconds to play. Los Angeles reached the Kansas City 14 before Rivers’ final mistake. Rivers, who turns 38 next month, has thrown seven interceptions in the Chargers’ last two games, giving him 14 this season – more than every quarterback in the NFL except Jameis Winston.

“It’s a football game,” Rivers said. “If you could just pick and choose and never throw them ever, I would choose to throw zero. But it’s hurting us right now. I just need to cut them out.”

One year after the NFL called off a game at Azteca Stadium on short notice because of poor field conditions, these teams played an entertaining game in the 7,200-foot elevation and on the Azteca grass, which yielded several significant divots from sharp stops or changes of direction.

The game was particularly special to Chargers cornerback Michael Davis, the son of a U.S. immigrant from Mexico City. Davis got to play in front of his grandparents for the first time.

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