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CARSON http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/tyron-smith-jersey , Calif. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes‘ first Week 1 start could not have gone any better. The second-year quarterback became the third player in Chiefs‘ history to throw for four touchdowns in an opener.

Before Kansas City fans begin running wild with Mahomes mania, though, coach Andy Reid and Mahomes are quick to point out there are still plenty of things to work on.

“I thought he did a nice job. He has things that he has to work on, like everybody, and he knows it,” Reid said after the Chiefs’ 38-28 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. “This will be a great learning tool for him as he evaluates the tape. He made plays, he did it with his legs, he did it throwing, he did it with checks.”

Mahomes, who was the 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft, was 15 of 27 for 256 yards as he improved to 2-0 in his career as a starter.

Mahomes began strong Authentic Kevin White Jersey , completing all three passes on his first drive, including a 58-yard touchdown to Tyreek Hill on what was originally a run play with a pass option. He went 4 of 11 the rest of the first half as many of his passes sailed high.

In the second half, he settled in and directed touchdowns on 3 of 6 drives. Mahomes was 8 of 13 for 125 yards and three touchdowns passing after halftime.

Mahomes said extending possessions will be an area of focus when preparations begin for next Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh.

“I feel like we left a lot out there. We scored on some big plays but sustaining drives and executing wherever we need to execute is something I think we need to keep working on as we go throughout the rest of the season,” he said.

MORE DANGEROUS HILL?

Hill’s speed and big-play ability as a returner and receiver already keep opposing coaches up at night. Defensive coordinators may have even more to worry about though as Mahomes said the third-year receiver has really improved his route running.

“I think today has showed that he has improved in his part and has the speed to bring it any time,” Mahomes said.

On his 58-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter to give the Chiefs a 14-3 lead, Hill ran a well-timed slant to the middle of the field and then eluded a diving tackle attempt by Jahleel Addae as he found a seam up the left sideline.

“I just have to run my route and be there. There’s a certain spot on the field that I have to be and he’s going to throw it there every time. Then after that, it’s history,” said Hill, who finished with seven receptions for 169 yards and three touchdowns.

TOUR DE RIVERS

Despite two turnovers that led to 14 Kansas City points and giving up a punt return for a touchdown, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers wasn’t concentrating on an 0-1 start but was focusing on the big picture of the rest of the season.

“I’m not much of a cycling fan, but I compare the NFL season to the Tour de France. It’s all those stages Andrei Vasilevskiy Jersey , and that’s what the NFL season is to me,” said Rivers, who was 34 of 51 for 424 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. “There’s 16 stages you get, and you dang sure better win your fair share of them, but it’s a long deal, and we’re down after the first stage, and we’ve got a chance in Buffalo to get a win and get to 1-1.”

Rivers doesn’t want to see the Chargers fall too far back of the AFC playoff peloton. The Chargers won nine of their final 12 games last season but missed the playoffs due to an 0-4 start.

INJURIES OF NOTE

Chiefs: LB Ben Niemann injured his hamstring. Reid said he did not know the severity of the injury and said it was likely going to be week-to-week. S Eric Berry made the trip but was inactive due to a heel injury.

Chargers: RT Joe Barksdale was carted off after injuring his right knee during the first quarter and did not return. Coach Anthony Lynn said he did not know the severity of the injury. Sam Tevi took Barksdale’s place on the offensive line. Lynn also said DT Joey Bosa, who was inactive for the game, remains week-to-week with a foot injury.

STREAKING ALONG

Kansas City has a nine-game winning streak over the Chargers, which is the longest in the 116-game rivalry dating to the American Football League.

However, it is not the Chiefs’ longest streak against an AFC West foe. They won 11 straight over Denver from 1964 to ’69.

Antonio Gates was back practicing with the Los Angeles Chargers on Wednesday and getting ready for the opener against Kansas City.

 

It's a situation neither party thought they would be in again back in April Carter Hutton Jersey , when the organization said during the NFL draft that it was moving on from Gates after 15 seasons. But due to an injury to Hunter Henry, the Chargers signed Gates to a one-year deal Monday.

"I figured they moved on, but as time went by things went on that were uncontrollable and it kind of became more realistic that I would have an opportunity to come back," Gates said Wednesday. "At the end of the day, the business side always has a certain effect. I wanted to be here. Our goals were the same and that's what it came down to."

Rumors about the Chargers star's return had been around since late May, when Henry suffered a knee injury that is likely to sideline him for the season. After going through the preseason, the Chargers decided to bring back Gates.

Gates said he did receive calls from other teams during the offseason, but nothing materialized.

"I had no one that would interest me more than the Chargers. I just needed to see how it would all play out," he said.

Philip Rivers, who lobbied for the tight end's return after Henry's injury, said it has felt like Gates never left.

"It is like he has been here all the offseason workouts and training camp Marshall Faulk Jersey ," Rivers said.

That may be what it feels like, but coach Anthony Lynn still needs to get a gauge on Gates' conditioning before making any decisions on whether he plays Sunday.

Even Gates acknowledges that his age and missing offseason workouts are added hurdles to get over.

"I've always been optimistic about playing in a game whether I was injured or not. With that being said where it depends on how I feel," he said. "You still have to get through the rust plus the first game is still intense and nervous. I still have to go out there and get in shape. You can't duplicate playing in a game."

One thing that isn't affected at all is the chemistry between Rivers and Gates. The two have connected for 87 touchdowns, making them the second-most prolific duo in NFL history.

The 38-year old Gates is the team's career leader in receptions (927), yards (11,508) and touchdowns (114), but his production in the Chargers' offense had declined over the past three seasons. He was targeted only 52 times last season and had 30 receptions for 316 yards and three touchdowns. All of those were his lowest totals since his rookie season in 2003.

Gates' 30 receptions are more than double what starting tight end Virgil Green had last year when he was with Denver. The eight-year veteran's career high for receptions is 22 in 2016.

The addition of Gates should also allow the Chargers to run more two tight-end sets, something they were unlikely to do without him. The only other tight end on the roster is Sean Culkin, a second-year player who was on the field for 11 offensive plays in two games last season.

"I think it can be a crazy situation," Green said about being paired with Gates. "We can do some great things. I think it is very beneficial especially just being out there to take over some of the love. One guy might be hanged up and you put another guy in there with no fallout."

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