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

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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 nearly 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 develop into an important participant for the Chiefs.

Taking part in as a result of starter Trent McDuffie went on injured reserve this week, Watson delivered the Chiefs’ greatest play of what might ultimately show to be their greatest 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 chance of 73%, in accordance with ESPN Stats & Info analysis. That chance swung to 81% for the Chiefs after Watson’s pick-six.

Large win: The Chiefs (2-0) are the one AFC West workforce with no loss, giving them an early benefit within the standings.

Purchase/promote on a breakout efficiency: Extensive receiver Justin Watson caught a 41-yard landing move and one different ball as he handed rookie Skyy Moore on the depth chart primarily based on snap counts in opposition to the Chargers. Watson labored properly with Patrick Mahomes throughout coaching camp, so his play isn’t surprising. He was best throughout camp within the pink zone, the place he used his measurement properly at 6-foot-2 and 215 kilos. Watson ought to get vital taking part in time so long as he is the fourth vast 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 purpose 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 at the least 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 finished that over that span. The primary additionally got here in opposition to 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 environment, the Chargers had been reminded that regardless of an offseason of star acquisitions, there’s nonetheless work to be finished 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 coming into the season that their upgraded roster, which now options All-Professional edge rusher Khalil Mack and Professional Bowl cornerback J.C. Jackson, can be examined early, taking part in back-to-back division video games in opposition to 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 offer 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 because of a hamstring damage, Williams stepped up in an enormous means. 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 chance of solely 31%, in accordance with 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 choose 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 choose 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 begin 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 pink zone within the fourth quarter of a tied recreation.

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

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