The last time the Chargers went to the playoffs, in 2013, they had to come from behind to beat the Chiefs late in the season.
Then they lost nine straight games to Kansas City so it's awfully fitting that the next time the Chargers made the playoffs they did it by coming from behind to beat the Chiefs late in the season.
The Bolts overcame a 14-point 4th quarter deficit at Arrowhead Stadium to beat the Chiefs 29-28 and clinch a spot in the post-season, and they did it with one heck of a gutsy call at the very end.
The game could not have started any worse for the Bolts. The first pass Philip Rivers threw was intercepted, setting up the Chiefs on a short field. Patrick Mahomes capped a 10 play, 49 yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson and a 7-0 K.C. lead.
The Chiefs scored again on another Mahomes TD pass to take a 14-0 lead by the end of the 1st quarter and it looked like things would get out of hand but the Bolts put together a long drive, going 75 yards in 10 plays and setting up Rivers to Mike Williams for a 3-yard score that cut the lead to 14-7.
That was not the first time Williams would end up in the end zone.
After the Chiefs went up 21-7 in the 3rd quarter Williams scored on a 19-yard run, becoming the first Chargers wide receiver to score a receiving and rushing touchdown in the same game since Tim Dwight in 2002, also against the Chiefs.
Kansas City scored again on a 1-yard run by Damien Williams and, with just 8:15 to play and a 28-14 lead, seemed to be in control. But Rivers pulled a couple of rabbits out of his hat.
Philip engineered a TD drive that ended with running back Justin Jackson, who started because Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler were hurt, scoring from three yards out to make it a 28-21 game.
The Bolts defense got a 3-and-out that included a sack of Mahomes by Isaac Rochell and Melvin Ingram to set up drama.
On 4th and 7 with 1:11 to play Rivers threw a dart to Travis Benjamin for 26 yards. Then the NFL officials started doing NFL official kinds of things. They missed what should have been an obvious penalty on a high hit on Rivers then called a questionable pass interference in the end zone on Kyle Fuller but swallowed their whistles when Williams pushed off in the corner for a touchdown that made it 28-27 Chiefs with four seconds left.
Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn decided to go for two and the win. It paid off.
The K.C. defense got crossed up and Williams was standing all alone in the end zone to make a catch and give the Chargers their first win over the Chiefs in half a decade.
Next week the Bolts host the Ravens on Saturday night while the Chiefs head to Seattle on NBC's Sunday Night Football. Both teams are 11-3 but K.C. still holds the edge because of a better division record so if the Chiefs win out they will be AFC West champions while the Chargers earn a wild card and that is significant because they've been a better team on the road than they have at "home."
In games played in Los Angeles they're 4-3. In games played outside of L.A. they're 7-0.