Little-known Chiefs rookie makes biggest play in huge win over Chargers

Little-known Chiefs rookie makes biggest play in huge win over Chargers

Everyone found Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday night stream to watch Justin Herbert vs. Patrick Mahomes. Instead, Jaylen Watson ended up starring on the show.

Jaylen who? Watson was a seventh-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in this year’s draft. He was a big part of Thursday night’s game because first-round pick Trent McDuffie was out with an injury.

In a game full of big-name players, Watson made the play that decided him.

In the fourth quarter of a tie game, Watson caught a pass from Justin Herbert near the goal line and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown. It changed the whole game, as the Chiefs cruised to a 27-24 win in a game that will be a season-long fixture in the AFC West race.

[Watch Thursday Night Football on Prime Video: Sign up for a 30-day free trial]

Before the biggest play of the game – and what will go down as one of the most important plays of the season – Chargers tight end Gerald Everett was asking after catching a pass inside the 5-line meters. The Chargers wanted to keep playing fast without a group, so they didn’t eliminate Everett from the game. It allowed Watson to jump inside Everett on Herbert’s pass and turn around a huge division game.

The Chargers will regret this series of events all season.

Not a high score start

The game was expected to be a high score with two of the most exciting quarterbacks in the NFL, but both offenses struggled to score in the first half. The Chargers took a 10-0 lead, and the Chiefs responded with a nice touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to Jerick McKinnon. Both attacks were quite effective, but there weren’t many big plays. Both defenses focused on not letting the other team’s strong-armed quarterback beat them over the top, and they mostly kept everything in front of them.

The Chargers struck straight away in the third quarter. They landed a fourth-and-one on a solid run from Austin Ekeler. Then Herbert threw one to Mike Williams, who had a phenomenal one-handed touchdown. That put the Chargers ahead 17-7.

Mahomes came right back. Mahomes stepped into the pocket and with a flick of the wrist he punched Justin Watson – who was in the game because Mecole Hardman came out before the game to have a heel injury checked – deep for a touchdown from 41 yards. Even Mahomes’ former teammate Tyreek Hill was impressed.

It set up a tense finish between the division rivals in what is expected to be a tight AFC West race all season.

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Jaylen Watson makes an interception for a touchdown in a win over the Chargers on Thursday in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Changing momentum in the fourth quarter

The fourth quarter started with the Chiefs deciding if they were going to make it to fourth and base from the 1-yard line. The Chiefs settled for a 19-yard field goal. It was a sure play, but he tied the game 17-17.

It went well. The Chargers drove straight into the field and came inside the 5-yard line on a catch from Everett. Everett was exhausted and wanted out of the game, but the Chargers were in rush mode and he didn’t come out. Everett passed out a bit on his short run, allowing Watson to jump inside him and catch an interception which he returned 99 yards for a score. It was the type of non-obvious mistake, ignoring Everett trying to get out of play, that can decide a very important game.

The Chargers won three times after that, and it was clear that all the momentum the Chargers had built up for more than three quarters was gone.

Herbert had another chance, although he fell for a scary few moments after a hit. He got up and returned after one play, but was hit again on his next attempt and was grimacing as he stood, holding his side. Both of Herbert’s assists after his return were incomplete, and the Chargers kicked with four minutes left. Clyde Edwards-Helaire had a 52-yard run after that and the game was pretty much over. The Chiefs earned a field goal to take a 10-point lead.

The Chargers scored with 1:11 left on a fourth pass from Herbert to Josh Palmer, but the Chiefs recovered an inbounds kick to wrap up the win.

The Chiefs have been challenged by the Chargers and could be pushed by them in the AFC West race all season. But Watson’s pick six stole the show. Chiefs fans will remember his name after Thursday night.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.