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Game Recap: Chiefs Defeat Chargers, 37-27, Clinch AFC West Title

The Chiefs will have a first-round bye in the NFL playoffs

The Kansas City Chiefs are the AFC West champions.

With their 37-27 win over the San Diego Chargers combined with the Denver Broncos' 24-6 win over the Oakland Raiders, the Chiefs win the AFC West division for the first time since 2010 and have a first-round bye in the NFL playoffs. Their Divisional round game two weeks from now will be played at Arrowhead Stadium.

Alex Smith and Tyreek Hill were the stars for the Chiefs in the game. Smith was 21 for 28 for 264 yards and three total touchdowns and Hill returned another punt for a touchdown of his own.

The Chargers and Chiefs traded 35-yard field goals to begin the game, and then San Diego took back over.

Starting at their 24-yard line, the Chargers used a good mix of run and pass to get into Chiefs territory. When a third-and-3 pass to tight end Antonio Gates left the Chargers a yard short, they opted to go for it. Running Back Andre Williams ran up the middle 5 yards for the first down.

The first quarter concluded with the Chargers at the Chiefs 5-yard line.

After a defensive holding penalty called on safety Ron Parker, Philip Rivers hit Gates for a 2-yard touchdown and 10-3 lead.

 The Chiefs were able to get the offense going on the ensuing drive.

With the Chiefs starting at their own 25-yard line, Alex Smith passed to Jeremy Maclin for 10 yards, then Charcandrick West for 18. Smith then hit Albert Wilson to his left on a screen, and Wilson took it 42 yards before being pushed out of bounds at the San Diego 5. On first-and-goal, Smith rushed 5 yards for a touchdown rushing to tie the game at 10.

The Chargers pushed it to their own 40 on their next drive, but facing third-and-8, Rivers threw to his right into the hands of cornerback Marcus Peters for his sixth interception of the season. Peters returned the interception 16 yards to the San Diego 34.

The Chiefs took advantage of the short field position by driving to the Chargers 4-yard line in nine plays. On first-and-goal, Smith ran a play-action play and found West open in the end zone for the 4-yard touchdown and 17-10 Chiefs lead.

The Chargers faced second-and-7 at the Kansas City 18-yard line, and Rivers threw a deep pass into the right part of end zone intended for wide receiver Isaiah Burse. Back in coverage, safety Daniel Sorensen picked the ball off and managed to get two feet in bounds before he fell out for the touchback.

Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos hit a 25-yard field goal as the second quarter concluded for a 20-10 halftime lead.

The Chiefs received the ball to begin the third quarter, and beginning at the Kansas City 34, worked their way down the field into Chargers territory. An encroachment penalty gave the Chiefs second-and-3 at the San Diego 11-yard line. Smith threw short to his right, but a defensive lineman tipped the ball into the air. S Jahleel Addae intercepted the pass and returned it 90 yards for the touchdown. With that TD, the Chargers cut the Chiefs' lead to 20-17.

The ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, so the Chiefs started at their own 40-yard line. On first down, Smith found Hill for a 20-yard gain into San Diego territory. A couple plays later, the Chiefs faced third-and-5 at the San Diego 21-yard line, and Smith connected with Conley for a 9-yard gain and a first down. The Chiefs were stopped on third down at the San Diego 9-yard line, but a defensive holding call gave them first-and-goal at the San Diego 2.

On another third down, for the second time in the game, Smith rolled out on a play action and connected with West for the touchdown, putting the Chiefs back up by 10 points, 27-17.

The Chiefs forced the Chargers to punt on their next possession, and Hill returned it 95 yards for the touchdown and 34-17 lead. It was his 12th touchdown on the season, which tied Fred Arbanas for the all-time franchise record for rookie touchdown.

After the next Chargers drive stalled at the Kansas City 11-yard line, Josh Lambo hit a 29-yard field goal to make it 34-20.

With a little more than 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Chargers opted for an onside kick, which the Chiefs recovered at the 50-yard line. The short field resulted in a 37-yard field goal for Santos to make it 37-20.

The Chargers added a Hunter Henry touchdown with less than three minutes left for a 10-point final.

Linebacker Ramik Wilson led the Chiefs in tackles with 13 (11 solo). West finished with 116 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns receiving. 

Photos from the Chiefs Week 17 matchup against the Chargers

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