Chiefs beat Chargers with familiar Travis Kelce play

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History repeated itself Sunday night at SoFi Stadium.

Unbelievably.

If you stayed up for the end of Kansas City’s tense AFC West match at the Chargers, you saw KC tight end Travis Kelce, down by four in the final minute of the game, catch a shallow crossing route from Patrick Mahomes, run right to left across the formation, and take advantage of wideout Justin Watson muddling the middle of the field with a short route just in front of Kelce. Kelce ran upfield for the winning 17-yard TD.

“Funny thing is,” Kelce told me 40 minutes after the game, “we ran the same play to win this game last year.”

Whoa. Wait. The same play?

“Ironic,” Kelce said over the din of a euphoric post-game scene.

Let’s see. After I hung up with Kelce, I hustled to YouTube to find the highlights from Kansas City’s overtime walkoff win over the Chargers last year in California. I looked at the Next Gen Stats “dot” rendition of the play.

Dec. 16. Night game. National TV. SoFi. Tied at 28. Overtime. Kelce caught a shallow crossing route from Patrick Mahomes, running right to left across the formation, took advantage of wideout Byron Pringle muddling the middle of the field with a short route just in front of Kelce. Kelce ran upfield for the winning 34-yard TD.

(Next Gen Stats)

Two slight differences: Coach Andy Reid dressed up this version with some motion—Watson, running to the left pre-snap—that wasn’t in the play last year. And Kelce broke off his free run last year and cut straight upfield to score. This year, Kelce kept running in-stride after making the catch, because there was a great path to the end zone.

Two games, same foe, same stadium, same end-of-game scenario, and Kansas City dialed up the same play. It worked with the same receiver in both games. It won both games.

Last week, in Kansas City, when the offensive staff was installing this crossing route for Kelce, Reid said, “Hard to stop that play.”

And isn’t that one of the open secrets of this Kansas City franchise, with Reid at the helm in his 10th season? Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy design plays for great players like Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, and they don’t care if they’ve run the plays twice or 20 times already this season. Hard to stop that play. Sunday night, one of the best safeties in football, Derwin James, chased Kelce futilely across the formation and couldn’t catch him, and Kelce scored fairly easily.

It’s crazy to think Reid dared to call the same play to try to beat the same team 11 months after first calling it, and that it worked so easily. Again. Reid knew what he was calling. He knew it won the Thursday night game last December. He knew it’d win this game too.

Kansas City went 75 yards in 75 seconds, culminating in the winning TD. I asked Kelce why it worked so flawlessly.

“Patrick Mahomes,” he said. “What the people don’t know is we had personnel issues on that series because of injuries we had during the game. Patrick’s the one with the keys to the car. He knows exactly where to go with the ball.”

Before Sunday night, Kelce had played Derwin James four times and never scored with him in coverage. “He’s locked me up in my career,” Kelce said. But he caught two TD passes Sunday night, including the winner, with James in coverage (he caught three total on the night). “This year,” he said, “I was lucky we had a timeout before that final play, so I could get my wind. But he’s tough, really tough.”

This was the season the AFC West was supposed to catch up with Kansas City, and Reid, and Mahomes, and Kelce. Tyreek Hill was gone; the other three West teams were all better. Mahomes has had to break in five new receivers. But now KC has swept the season series with the Chargers, and Reid’s team (8-2) has a three-game lead over the Chargers with the tiebreaker. This division belongs to Kansas City—for the seventh straight year.

“We’re better this year because Patrick and Andy are a year older, a year more experienced together,” Kelce said.

Watching Kelce be the short and intermediate keystone to everything Kansas City does in the passing game, watching Mahomes lean on him during a needy time, I thought, If he never plays another snap after this season, he’s a Hall of Famer. Though I’ve railed against calling guys Hall-of-Famers before their time, he’s been a dominant tight end over a significant period of time. Kelce has 855 receiving yards through 10 games, and barring injury will have his seventh straight season over 1,000 yards. Think of the other great tight ends of our day. Rob Gronkowski and Tony Gonzalez had four seasons over 1,000 yards—not consecutive, but total. Shannon Sharpe had three and Jason Witten and Antonio Gates two each. Kelce’s had six straight and is verging on a seventh. Last night was his 33rd game with 100+ receiving yards, breaking Gronkowski’s record (32) of such games by a tight end.

He is marvelously well-rounded in the passing game, athletic and unselfish, and gives up his body willingly to block when needed. And he’s always, always there. He’s missed two games due to injury in the last nine seasons.

While the other parts of the passing game get fine-tuned with Mahomes, the reliance on Kelce continues to win games for the AFC’s number one seed. Some things never change.

Read more in Peter King’s full Football Morning in America column

How to watch Miami Dolphins vs LA Chargers: TV, live stream info for Sunday night’s game

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It’s the Miami Dolphins vs LA Chargers this Sunday night at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with Football Night in America. See below for additional information on how to watch tonight’s game.

RELATED: FMIA Week 13 – Brock Purdy Gets The Save And The Starting Job; Burrow Still Owns Mahomes And The Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins (8-4) currently hold one of the AFC’s Wild Card spots after a tough 33-17 loss against the 49ers last Sunday afternoon that ended Miami’s 5-game win streak. Tagovailoa finished 18-of-33 for 295 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 3 turnovers (two interceptions and a fumble). He did not return for the game’s final play after injuring his ankle on a strip sack late in the 4th quarter but is expected to start this Sunday. Despite last Sunday’s performance, which was Tagovailoa’s worst of the season, the Dolphins QB has exceeded expectations in year 3. In the 10 games he’s played this season, Tagovailoa has already surpassed his career highs in touchdown passes (21) and passing yards (2,859). He also leads the NFL in passer rating (112.0) and yds/attempt (9.02).

RELATED: Tua Tagovailoa feels “as good as I can be after a game”

LA Chargers

Justin Herbert and the LA Chargers (6-6)  fell 27-20 to the Raiders last Thursday night picking up their 3rd loss in the last 4 games. The team, which is seeking its first playoff appearance since 2018, currently sits one game behind the NY Jets and outside of playoff position. Herbert finished 28-of-47 for 335 passing yards–his most in a game since Week 4–and one touchdown. WR Keenan Allen had 6 receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown while RB Austin Ekeler had 5 receptions for 57 receiving yards and picked up 35 yards on the ground. The 6th-year RB leads the Chargers’ offense with 85 receptions this season and is second on the team with 564 receiving yards.

How many times have Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert gone head-to-head?

Third-year QBs Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert went 5th and 6th overall, respectively in the 2020 NFL Draft. However, Sunday night’s matchup will be just the second meeting between two players who have quickly become some of the best young quarterbacks in the league. Tagovailoa and Herbert met in Week 10 of their rookie season when the Dolphins defeated the Chargers 29-21. Tagovailoa threw for 169 yds and 2 touchdowns in the win, while Herbert passed for 187 yds, 2 touchdowns, and an interception in the Chargers loss.

Both quarterbacks are looking to make their first career playoff appearance this season.


How to watch the Miami Dolphins vs LA Chargers:

  • Where: SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California
  • When: Sunday, December 11
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Miami Dolphins vs LA Chargers game?

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your tailgating needs for the 2022 Fall season, click here!

Football Night in America will feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: When do the 2022 NFL Playoffs start: dates, schedule, playoff format, overtime rules, and more


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

When do the 2022 NFL Playoffs start: dates, schedule, playoff format, overtime rules, and more

The 2022 NFL playoffs begin on January 14! Here is everything you need to know before then!
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The 2022 NFL playoffs are quickly approaching and this year’s format will once again include a total of 14 teams –seven from each conference with the top seeds automatically getting a first-round bye. Six games will take place on Wild Card Weekend under the following format for each conference:

2022 NFL Wild Card Weekend Format :

  • No. 2 Seed (host) vs No. 7 Seed
  • No. 3 Seed (host) vs No. 6 Seed
  • No. 4 Seed (host) vs No. 5 Seed

The Wild Card winners will advance to the Divisional round where they will face the top seeds in each conference. See below to find out the 2022 NFL playoff format and schedule.

When do the 2022 NFL Playoffs Start?

The 2022 NFL playoffs begin on Saturday, January 14, 2023.

2022 NFL Playoff Schedule

Be sure to check back for times and teams but until then follow all the NFL action on ProFootballTalk!

Wild Card Weekend Schedule:

  • Saturday, January 14
  • Sunday, January 15
  • Monday, January 16

Divisional Weekend:

  • Saturday, January 21
  • Sunday, January 22

Conference Championships:

  • Sunday, January 29

When is the Super Bowl?

This year’s Super Bowl will take place at State Farm Stadium–home of the Arizona Cardinals– in Glendale, Arizona on Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox. The last time the Super Bowl was contested in Arizona was in 2015, Super Bowl XLIX when the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks.

How will overtime work in the 2022 NFL playoffs?

After Kansas City’s exciting 42-36 overtime victory over the Bills in last year’s divisional round, when Kansas City scored a touchdown on the first possession of OT denying the Bills a chance to touch the ball, the league has made a change to its postseason rules. Each team will now have an opportunity to possess the ball in overtime. See below for the NFL’s official postseason OT rules:

2022 NFL Playoffs Overtime Rules:

  • If the score is still tied at the end of an overtime period — or if the second team’s initial possession has not ended — the teams will play another overtime period. Play will continue regardless of how many overtime periods are needed for a winner to be determined.
  • There will be a two-minute intermission between each overtime period. There will not be a halftime intermission after the second period.
  • The captain who lost the first overtime coin toss will either choose to possess the ball or select which goal his team will defend unless the team that won the coin toss deferred that choice.
  • Each team will have an opportunity to possess the ball in overtime.
  • Each team gets three timeouts during a half.
  • The same timing rules that apply at the end of the second and fourth regulation periods also apply at the end of a second or fourth overtime period.
  • If there is still no winner at the end of a fourth overtime period, there will be another coin toss, and play will continue until a winner is declared.

RELATED: NFL overtime rules and procedures


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!