The Chargers faced as many obstacles as you could imagine as they trotted out for a game-tying drive that eventually became the game-winning drive.
Only 2:37 left on the clock.
Playing at Arrowhead Stadium, a raucous environment that holds the world record for loudest fans.
Down their top wideout, Keenan Allen, who left in the second quarter with a hip injury.
There were also several occasions in which it looked like the Bolts may be down for the count, including a holding penalty on the first snap that immediately backed them up as well as a do-or-die fourth down snap.
Enter Travis Benjamin.
The veteran speedster had only two catches on the night, but they both came on the final drive and saved the Bolts when they were in their most dire situations.
On 1st-and-20, Benjamin hauled in a perfect pass from Philip Rivers, taking a wallop at the end for a 31-yard gain to give the Chargers a massive spark.
What made the play even more spectacular was that he ran that route from the slot, something he’s never done on that call. He also went up to Rivers earlier in the quarter, pointing out he saw something in that coverage early that convinced him they had a big play in the making.
“That was huge,” said Rivers. “You know, we called that play a few plays earlier. I’m not sure where I threw it but Travis came up to me and said, ‘Hey, if we call that again, I think I’m going to have a chance.’ I trust my receivers so much because they don’t tell you they’re open when they’re not. They tell you what really happened. So, then we called it again and I said, ‘Alright Travis, I’m going to give it a shot and peak at you and see.’ Sure enough, he came roaring in there with that speed and made a great catch. He’s never in there in the slot running a bender with four verticals. He’s never in there. It was one of those, ‘Alright Travis, we’re going to trust you. Get in there.’ Sure enough, he was in at the right time. Those are two huge plays in that drive.”
“The first one was a play we were seeing earlier that we talked about on the sideline,” Benjamin added. “I told them, ‘Hey, I came open on the first one,’ so we got back to it and Phil beamed the ball to me. It was a great catch, a great throw. I held on to it.”
Benjamin wasn’t done playing the hero.
With 1:10 to go in the game and the Bolts staring at a 4th-and-7 from the Chiefs’ 37-yardline, Rivers once again looked and fired in his direction. He unleashed a perfect laser on as good a throw you’ll see all year, and Benjamin hauled it in, made some moves and dashed down to the 14 for a 26-yard gain.
“It was a middle seam ball,” Benjamin said. “Phil had been telling us all day, if they go certain coverage and we see it, just bend it in there (on the route). When I bent and turned my head, the ball was there. So, it was a great pass by Phil.… (It was) a two-man where I made a move, and Phil put the ball right in the spot it.”
Finally, it’s only fitting that Benjamin would have a big performance to end the game as Head Coach Anthony Lynn named him an honorary captain prior to kickoff.
“Travis stepped up,” Lynn said. “We made him honorary captain today. The way he has been practicing, it did not surprise us (to see his success). We have been seeing him practice. He started out the season pretty slow because of injuries, but once he has gotten healthy, he has looked very good. It was good to see him have some success on the football field tonight.”