KANSAS CITY, MO—In a thrilling AFC West showdown featuring two of the NFL’s best quarterbacks, a 7th round rookie defensive back from the Kansas City Chiefs stole the show. Jaylen Watson made the play of the game in the Chiefs 27-24 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday, September 15 at Arrowhead Stadium.
Going into the fourth quarter, the game was tied at 17-17, the Chargers drove down the length of the field to the Chiefs one yard line. The next play for the Chargers was a nightmare as quarterback Justin Herbert was intercepted by Watson, the unheralded rookie ran 99 yards for the go-ahead touchdown.
“I don’t even remember what happened at that moment,” said Watson. Herbert was crushed by Chiefs Defensive End Mike Danna. Herbert fractured his rib cartilage and is day-to-day.
Despite the injury, Herbert returned in the field and threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Justin Palmer on 4th and Goal to pull the Bolts within three points at 27-24 with a minute remaining in the game.
“You’re not going to see a quarterback at any level of football play tougher and do more for their team and will their team to give them a chance more than him,” said Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley about Herbert.
The ensuing onside kick bounced before the Chiefs recovered the ball and ran out the clock to end the game.
Kansas City improves to 2-0 while the Chargers fall to 1-1. The Chargers defense once again gave a spectacular effort, holding Mahomes and the Chiefs in-check all night. The Chargers held the Chiefs to 13 yards in the first quarter.
Herbert went 33 of 48 with three touchdowns and that pivotal interception, while Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes with 24 of 35 for 235 yards and two touchdown passes.
Wide Receiver Keenan Allen was out with a sore hamstring, Mike Williams and Joshua Palmer stepped up in his absence. Williams in particular, caught 8 receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown for the ages.
Early in the second half, Williams made an excellent, incredible touchdown reception with one hand.
An interesting subplot of this heated rivalry game was the awkward debut of TNF on Amazon Prime. The screen was choppy, and the sound was ahead of the action.
The Los Angeles Chargers will host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, September 25 at SoFi Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.