Everyone discovered Amazon Prime Video’s stream on Thursday evening to observe Justin Herbert vs. Patrick Mahomes. Instead, Jaylen Watson ended up being the star of the present.
Jaylen who? Watson was a seventh-round decide of the Kansas City Chiefs in this yr’s draft. He stepped into a massive function for Thursday evening’s recreation as a result of first-round decide Trent McDuffie was out as a consequence of an harm.
In a recreation filled with big-name gamers, Watson made the play that determined it.
In the fourth quarter of a tie recreation, Watson picked off a Justin Herbert move close to the objective line and returned it 99 yards for a landing. That modified the total recreation, as the Chiefs went on to a 27-24 win in a recreation that may loom giant all season in the AFC West race.
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Before the biggest play of the recreation — and what’s going to maintain up as one among the most essential performs of the season — Chargers tight finish Gerald Everett was asking out after catching a move inside the 5-yard line. The Chargers wished to maintain enjoying quick with out a huddle, so that they did not sub Everett out of the recreation. That allowed Watson to leap within Everett on Herbert’s move and switch round a large divisional recreation.
The Chargers will remorse that sequence of occasions all season.
Not a high-scoring begin
The recreation was anticipated to be a high-scoring one with two of the NFL’s most fun quarterbacks, however each offenses struggled to attain in the first half. The Chargers took a 10-0 lead, and the Chiefs responded with a good sidearm landing move from Patrick Mahomes to Jerick McKinnon. Both offenses have been pretty environment friendly, however there weren’t many massive performs. Both defenses have been centered on not letting the different workforce’s strong-armed quarterback beat them over the prime, and so they largely saved every little thing in entrance of them.
The Chargers struck immediately in the third quarter. They picked up a fourth-and-1 on a robust Austin Ekeler run. Then Herbert floated one as much as Mike Williams, who made a phenomenal one-handed landing catch. That put the Chargers forward 17-7.
Mahomes got here proper again. Mahomes stepped up in the pocket and with a flick of the wrist he hit Justin Watson — who was in the recreation as a result of Mecole Hardman got here out earlier than the play to get a heel harm checked out — deep downfield for a 41-yard landing. Even Mahomes’ previous teammate Tyreek Hill was impressed.
It arrange a tense end between division rivals in what needs to be a tight AFC West race all season.
Momentum shifts in the fourth quarter
The fourth quarter began with the Chiefs deciding whether or not to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The Chiefs settled for a 19-yard discipline objective. It was a protected play, nevertheless it did tie the recreation 17-17.
It turned out nicely. The Chargers drove proper downfield and received inside the 5-yard line on a catch by Everett. Everett was exhausted and wished out of the recreation, however the Chargers have been in hurry-up mode and he did not come out. Everett pale a bit on his quick route, permitting Watson to leap within him and catch an interception that he returned 99 yards for a rating. It was the kind of non-obvious mistake, ignoring Everett making an attempt to get out of the recreation, that may resolve a essential recreation.
The Chargers went three-and-out after that, and it was clear all the momentum the Chargers constructed up over three-plus quarters was gone.
Herbert had one other likelihood, though he went down for a few scary moments after a hit. He received up and got here again in after one play off, however received hit once more on his subsequent try and was grimacing as he received up, clutching his aspect. Herbert’s two passes after coming again have been incomplete and the Chargers punted with 4 minutes left. Clyde Edwards-Helaire snapped off a 52-yard run after that and the recreation was all however over. The Chiefs received a discipline objective to take a 10-point lead.
The Chargers scored with 1:11 left on a fourth-down move from Herbert to Josh Palmer, however the Chiefs recovered an onside kick to wrap up the win.
The Chiefs have been challenged by the Chargers, and may very well be pushed by them in the AFC West race all season. But Watson’s pick-six stole the present. Chiefs followers will keep in mind his title after Thursday evening.