Mahomes, Chiefs hope to stay hot against Chargers

The upside the Kansas City Chiefs noticed when they moved up 17 spots to draft Patrick Mahomes as the 10th overall pick in 2017 was displayed in the preseason.Playing an exhibition in Atlanta, Mahomes winged a 69-yard touchdown pass to speedy wide receiver Tyreek Hill. The bomb sailed 68.6 yards in the air, almost 7 yards longer than the largest distance on a completion last year in the NFL.Last year happened to be when Mahomes apprenticed for the Chiefs as a backup behind Alex Smith. On Sunday, his turn at quarterback begins in earnest when Kansas City travels to Los Angeles to play the AFC West-rival Chargers at StubHub Center.The Chiefs added offseason acquisition Sammy Watkins alongside talented weapons such as Hill, tight end Travis Kelce and running back Kareem Hunt. The mobile Mahomes has advised all of them to never quit on a play.”You have to be able to attack the whole entire field at all times,” said Mahomes, just the third quarterback Kansas City ever drafted in the first round and the first since 1983.”I feel like times when you get behind the defenses, they have kind of a clock in their head, and so they know the quarterback is supposed to be down and they sort of stop running a little bit. Then I tell our receivers to keep running because I can always throw it past those guys and they can make plays.”Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers feels he too can make plays with the “diverse group” he engineers for Los Angeles.”It’s like, ‘All right, look out. Whose week is it?”’ Rivers said. “We don’t know, and guys are excited when it’s the other guy’s turn.”The mainstays from that unit, running back Melvin Gordon and wide receiver Keenan Allen remain certifiable threats. A veteran the Chargers informed would not be brought back for this season, tight end Antonio Gates, finds himself in the fold again after Hunter Henry tore his anterior cruciate ligament during offseason practicesThe Chiefs are two-time defending AFC West champions and own an eight-game win streak over the Chargers. Overall, Kansas City has won 18 of its last 20 matchups against division rivals.”That’s all history. Right now is what counts,” cautioned Chiefs coach Andy Reid. “We have to get ourselves ready for a good team.”