For just the fourth time in NFL history, a regular season game was played in Mexico. The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers, heated divisional rivals, met south of the border at the Estadio Azteca.
The historic venue, which has hosted two FIFA World Cup Finals, was the site of controversy last season. The Chiefs and Rams were scheduled to play on Monday Night Football at Estadio Azteca in 2018, however, awful field conditions forced the game to be moved to Los Angeles. This year, The Chiefs took on the other Los Angeles NFL squad, and the field, while still not perfect, was good enough to accommodate the contest. There were more players slipping and sliding than usual in an NFL game last night, a product of a subpar playing surface, but the game was largely a success for the NFL.
Upwards of 76,000 screaming fans packed the home of Club America and the Mexican National Team to witness the Chiefs beat the Chargers by a score of 24-17.
It was Los Angeles with the early opportunities in the game, getting their very first drive into the redzone before settling for a Michael Badgley 27 yard field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. After stopping Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense on their first drive of the game, the Chargers got into the redzone again but came up with nothing after getting stopped and Badgley missing a 40 yard kick.
The game’s sloppiness didn’t end there however, as Mahomes was picked on a deep pass on the Chiefs’ second offensive series. The Chargers nowm still leading 3-0 with their opening drive field goal being the game’s only score, got the ball to the Kansas City 25 yard line thanks to a big catch by Keenan Allen, before Phillip Rivers threw an interception. However, still going strong, the Chargers defense got another stop and the Chiefs have come up empty on their first three possessions.
On Los Angeles’ next drive Rivers threw another interception, this time in his own territory, and Tyrann Mathieu almost took it all the way to the house, and was brought down at the 6 yard line. The Chiefs wasted no time as on the very next play LeSean McCoy took it 6 yards for the score, and Kansas City had their first lead of the night at 7-3 about midway through the second quarter.
Another redzone drive for the chargers, but it ended in disappointment. They got all the way to the Chiefs 8 yard line but had to settle for a field goal, making it a one point game. 7-6 with five minutes remaining in the first half. Both teams traded field goals again to close the half, making the score 10-9, Kansas City in front.
The action picked up early in the third quarter to the delight of the Mexican fans with three touchdowns on the first four possessions of the second half, and Kansas City’s lead was as big as 24-9 before the Chargers responded to make it 24-17 when Keenan Allen scored.
Late in the game with about four minutes left, trailing 17-24, Phillip Rivers was intercepted on a deep pass, but the chargers defense, after giving up one first down, was able to force a punt and get the ball back to give a frustrated Los Angeles offense one last chance to tie the game. A Masterfully mixed drive got the chargers all the way to the Chiefs 14 with 24 seconds left and no timeouts. After being forced to clock the ball on first down, Rivers threw a 50/50 ball to the near right pylon for Austin Ekeler, defended by Daniel Sorensen, and the latter came up with the rock and sealed the game for a Kansas City Victory. The Fourth quarter of week eleven’s finale, while it did not see any scoring, was not lacking in excitement, as the game came down to the final possession. The Chiefs remain in first place in the AFC West with a mark of 7-4, a half game in front of the Oakland Raiders who sit at 6-4, with Kansas City winning the first head-to-head matchup with the Raiders early in the season.
For the Chargers, their playoff hopes are nearly gone as they fall to 4-7 as they suffer another close and frustrating loss this season.
That's not the end of the drama, however, as there are rumors surrounding the benching of Chargers QB Phillip Rivers for backup Tyrod Taylor, however, Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn seemed to imply Rivers would not be benched in his postgame press conference.