Patrick Mahomes-Travis Kelce connection lifts Kansas City Chiefs past Los Angeles Chargers in overtime – USA TODAY

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. — The streak is alive. 

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Los Angeles Chargers, 34-28, in overtime Thursday night and extended their winning streak to seven games. 

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes connected with tight end Travis Kelce for the 38-yard, game-winning touchdown just over minute into the first possession of overtime. 

Mahomes threw a costly interception in the second half, but made up for it with three touchdown passes and late-game heroics as the Chiefs solidified their spot atop the AFC West with a two-game lead over the Chargers (8-6). 

Mahomes completed 31 of 47 passes for 410 yards and 

With three games left to play, the Chiefs continue to vie for the AFC’s No. 1 seeding with the New England Patriots (9-4) and Tennessee Titans (9-4) thanks to an unlikely turnaround. 

The Chiefs lost three of their first four games of the season and were 3-4 before reeling off seven straight victories.

With the game tied 21-21 late in fourth quarter, Los Angeles quarterback Justin Herbert delivered.  

He directed an 11-play, 75-yard drive capped by his eight-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Keenan Allen as the Chargers went ahead 28-21. 

Then it was Mahomes working magic. He needed just 93 seconds to lead the Chiefs down the field and connect with tight end Travis Kelce to tie the game 28.28 with 1:16 left in regulation 

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Chiefs take AFC’s No. 1 seed from Patriots … for now

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Mahomes was not at his best. Among the regrettable moments: In the third quarter, with the Chiefs facing 4-and-1 at the Chargers 2, he spotted an open Mecole Hardman but threw the ball well short of the receiver. 

Later in the quarter, it got worse for Mahomes. On third-and-3 at the Chiefs, he tried to loft a pass to Clyde Edwards-Helaire. But Chargers outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu leaped into the air, tipped the pass and caught it for an interception as he fell to the ground.

On the next play, running back Austin Ekeler scored on a two-yard touchdown run as the Chargers extended their lead to 21-13. 

Yet, on the very next possession, Mahomes was delivering heroics. He found tight end Travis’ Kelce on a 69-yard pass that set up his 1-yard touchdown to pass to Tyreek Hill. He then connected with Edwards-Helaire for the two-point conversion, leaving the score tied 21-21. 

There was no mad scramble. Just a shift.

Down 10-0 in the first half, the Chargers rallied and by the intermission had a 14-10 lead– and it could have been more. Much more. In the first half, the Chargers twice failed to score after reaching the Chiefs’ 5-yard line. 

The first opportunity came on the Chargers’ first possession when they faced first-and-goal from the 5. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert threw four straight incompletions. 

The second opportunity came on the last possession of the first half, when the Chargers faced first-and-goal at the Chiefs’ 5-yard line with 20 seconds left to play. 

After two running plays and an incomplete pass, the Chargers faced fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line with three seconds left. Rather than kick the field goal, the Chargers attempted another pass and the Chiefs batted it down. 

The gambling continued.  

In the third quarter, the Chargers had the ball at the Chiefs’ 28 and faced fourth-and-2. Rather than attempt a field goal, the Chargers went for the first down and Herbert threw an incomplete pass. 

At that point, the Chargers were 1-for-4 on fourth down. 

Donald Parham leaves game on stretcher 

In the first quarter, play stopped for several minutes as medical personnel tended to Chargers tight end Donald Partham Jr. After dropping a pass from Justin Herbert in the end zone, Parham’s head slammed against the turf and appeared to at least briefly lose consciousness. 

Medical personnel cut off Parham’s facemask before placing him on a backboard. He then was moved on a stretcher and teammates gathered around him in a show of concern. As Parham was taken off the field, his arms appeared to be shaking. 

He was in stable condition undergoing tests, imaging and evaluation for a head injury at UCLA Harbor Medical Center, the press box announcer reported in the second half.