Kansas Metropolis Chiefs seize early management of the AFC West, defeat Los Angeles Chargers



KANSAS CITY — The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 27-24 on Thursday night time as Patrick Mahomes accomplished 24 of 35 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns to outduel Justin Herbert.

Kansas Metropolis Chiefs

Jaylen Watson appeared virtually to be an afterthought when the Chiefs made him their third cornerback chosen after taking him within the seventh spherical this yr. Already Watson has grow to be a vital participant for the Chiefs.

Taking part in as a result of starter Trent McDuffie went on injured reserve this week, Watson delivered the Chiefs’ largest play of what may finally show to be their largest win of the season. Watson intercepted a move from Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert within the fourth quarter and returned it 99 yards for the go-ahead landing. The Chiefs went on to beat their AFC West rivals 27-24.

When the Chargers snapped the ball from the Chiefs’ 3, they’d a win likelihood of 73%, based on ESPN Stats & Info analysis. That likelihood swung to 81% for the Chiefs after Watson’s pick-six.

Huge win: The Chiefs (2-0) are the one AFC West group with out a loss, giving them an early benefit within the standings.

Purchase/promote on a breakout efficiency: Huge receiver Justin Watson caught a 41-yard landing move and one different ball as he handed rookie Skyy Moore on the depth chart based mostly on snap counts towards the Chargers. Watson labored properly with Patrick Mahomes throughout coaching camp, so his play isn’t surprising. He was handiest throughout camp within the purple zone, the place he used his dimension properly at 6-foot-2 and 215 kilos. Watson ought to get important taking part in time so long as he is the fourth broad receiver, which he clearly was on Thursday night time.

Troubling development: The Chiefs’ short-yardage offense struggled. They had been 1-of-5 on third-and-3 or much less. These struggles led coach Andy Reid to name for a area objective on fourth-and-goal from the 1 within the fourth quarter with the Chiefs trailing 17-14. — Adam Teicher

Underrated statistic to know: Eight completely different Chiefs gamers had a minimum of two catches, tied for probably the most in a recreation within the Patrick Mahomes period (since 2018). It’s the second time Kansas Metropolis has executed that over that span. The primary additionally got here towards the Chargers, in Week 3 final season in Kansas Metropolis.

Subsequent recreation: at Colts (1:00 p.m. ET, Sept. 25)

Los Angeles Chargers

Inside a raucous Arrowhead Stadium, the place a Week 2 matchup featured a playoff ambiance, the Chargers had been reminded that regardless of an offseason of star acquisitions, there’s nonetheless work to be executed to take the AFC West from the six-time defending champion Chiefs. The Chiefs eradicated a 10-point deficit to return from behind and defeat the Chargers 27-24 on Thursday night time.

The Chargers knew getting into the season that their upgraded roster, which now options All-Professional edge rusher Khalil Mack and Professional Bowl cornerback J.C. Jackson, could be examined early, taking part in back-to-back division video games towards the Las Vegas Raiders and Chiefs in a five-day span.

They went 1-1, and now have an early gauge of what should enhance to win a division title, or at a minimal, make it out of the daunting AFC West.

Pivotal play: With 10:43 remaining, the rating tied 17-17 and the Chargers driving to the Chiefs’ 3-yard line, quarterback Justin Herbert fired a move meant for tight finish Gerald Everett that was picked off by rookie cornerback Jaylen Watson. Watson returned the interception 99 yards for a landing to present the Chiefs their first lead of the sport, 24-17. On the earlier play, Everett gained 26 yards on a catch and run to arrange first-and-goal. However the pick-six illustrated the rising pains felt between Herbert and Everett all through coaching camp. The Bolts signed Everett over the offseason to a two-year, $12 million deal.

Promising development: Receiver Mike Williams‘ productiveness. Coming off a quiet Week 1 efficiency (two catches for 10 yards), and with Keenan Allen inactive attributable to a hamstring harm, Williams stepped up in a giant approach. Within the first half, Williams caught a 39-yard move to arrange a landing that gave the Chargers a 10-0 lead. Out of halftime, Williams made a circus-like play for a landing, as he dove and reeled in a one-handed seize for a 15-yard rating to place the Chargers up 17-7. The landing reception had a completion likelihood of solely 31%, based on NFL Subsequent Gen Stats, and it was the second one-handed landing catch of Williams’ six-year profession. Williams completed with eight catches for 113 yards and a landing.

Eye-popping stat: Rookie Zander Horvath caught a 1-yard landing move within the second quarter to place the Bolts up 10-0. A seventh-round decide from Purdue, Horvath additionally had a 1-yard landing reception in Week 1’s 24-19 win over the Raiders. Horvath turns into the primary seventh-round decide to catch a landing move in every of his first two profession video games since Chansi Stuckey for the Jets in 2008. Stuckey caught a landing move in three straight video games to start out his profession. — Lindsey Thiry

Underrated statistic to know: Justin Herbert‘s pick-six was a uncommon one. It is the one pick-six this century that got here within the purple zone within the fourth quarter of a tied recreation.

Subsequent recreation: vs. Jaguars (4:05 p.m. ET, Sept. 25)

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