Tyreek Hill leads Chiefs to win season opener against Chargers

Tristan Allen, Editorial board

Tyreek Hill, wide receiver, put on quite the show in the Kansas City Chiefs’ 2018 regular season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers, winning 38-28.

The Chargers started out the game going 3 plays and out, thanks to the Chiefs’ defense, and were not prepared for a 91-yard punt return touchdown by Hill. Los Angeles managed to get on the board with a field goal in the next drive. Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, later made a 58-yard touchdown pass to Hill. To finish off the first quarter, the Chargers kicked a field goal.

Not much happened in the second quarter. The Chiefs scored a 46-yard field goal, and the Chargers scored a touchdown but failed on the two-point conversion. The first half finished with Kansas City leading Los Angeles 17-12.

Kansas City scored first in the second half with a touchdown to De’Anthony Thomas, wide receiver. That following drive, the Chargers were intercepted by Ron Parker, cornerback, at Kansas City’s 14-yard line. The Chiefs’ offense soon turned the interception into a touchdown, which was followed by a Chargers touchdown.

In the fourth quarter, the Chargers scored a touchdown and completed a two-point conversion. The Chiefs had to punt in that following drive, but the Chargers’ punt returner fumbled and was recovered at Los Angeles’ 2-yard line by James Winchester, long snapper. Mahomes was able to turn the turnover into his fourth and last touchdown of the day, passing to Hill. The Chargers scored another touchdown, which was the last score of the game. The Chargers did try to kick a field goal, but Caleb Sturgis, kicker, missed.

Sunday’s win against the Chargers was primarily because of the show put on by Hill. He not only returned a 91-yard punt for a touchdown, but he also scored a 58-yard passing touchdown and another 1-yard touch passing touchdown. He caught seven of his eight passes for 169 yards, including one crazy acrobatic reception in the first quarter which saw him pulled out of the game due to concussion concerns.

While Mahomes’ passing was nearly on point, going 15 for 27 in passing for 256 yards, he was almost only able to pass to Hill. Travis Kelce, tight end, only caught one of six passes intended for him. Other receivers made most, if not all, of their receptions, but Mahomes was not able to get them involved as heavily in the passing game as Hill. The other receivers combined only 87 yards, compared to Hill’s 169 yards.

Mahomes made four passing touchdowns, which is impressive for someone who only played in one regular season NFL game. The only criticisms from this game of Mahomes is that two of his passing touchdowns were under 5 yards, behind the line of scrimmage, and the receiver appeared to run through the line of scrimmage as if it were a rushing play. In short, two of his “passing touchdowns” honestly looked more like rushing touchdowns.

The other criticism of his game is Mahomes seems to have too much power in his throws. There were a few times, such as a pass intended for Sammy Watkins, wide receiver, that the receiver could be open enough to make the catch, but the throw had too much power, forcing the receiver to drop the ball.

While the passing offense was decent, the rushing offense struggled a bit. The rushing offense only gathered 106 yards on 27 carries. Mahomes rushed five times for 21 yards and Hill rushed twice for four yards, putting Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware and Damien Williams, running backs, at 81 yards on 20 attempts, or 4.2 yards per rush.

The defense continued to struggle against the Chargers, but partly because Eric Berry, free safety, sat out the game. The Chargers were able to get 33 first downs, compared to the Chiefs’ 19. They also got 541 total yards, beating the Chiefs’ 362 yards, and averaged 7.3 yards per play. 424 of the Chargers’ 541 yards were passing yards recorded by Philip Rivers, quarterback. In their defense, Parker did get an interception, the defense recorded a sack and special teams recovered a fumble.

Harrison Butker, kicker, had a good week, making one 46-yard field goal and making all five of his Point After Touchdown (PAT) attempts.