Winners, losers from Chargers-Chiefs on Thursday Night Football originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers delivered on Thursday night.
In a back-and-forth affair, Kansas City erased a 10-point third-quarter deficit and held on to beat Los Angeles, 27-24.
Patrick Mahomes (2 TDs) and Justin Herbert (3 TDs), as expected, led the way for their respective squads.
Before giving away too much more, let’s take a look at some winners and losers from Thursday Night Football:
Winner: The Watsons
Two plays shifted the game for the Chiefs, and they both came courtesy of a man named Watson.
First, it was wide receiver Justin Watson. With Kansas City trailing 17-7 in the third quarter, Watson beat newly paid Chargers cornerback J.C. Jackson for a 41-yard touchdown catch. The 26-year-old Watson hasn’t had many highlights in his NFL career, totaling just 23 receptions in his first four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The second play came from cornerback Jaylen Watson. A seventh-round rookie, Watson was one of the Chiefs’ best players in the secondary all night. At this point, the score was tied at 17 and the Chargers were driving. They got down to the goal line when Herbert misfired, giving Watson the opportunity to pounce. He did just that, intercepting the pass and returning it 99 yards for the tie-breaking score.
Loser: Chargers for Charger-ing
We’ve seen this story too many times. Regardless of the coaches or players, the Chargers always find a way to give away wins.
Leading 17-7 midway through the third quarter, the Chargers allowed 20 unanswered points before a garbage time score. In the process, their star quarterback suffered a rib injury. If Herbert isn’t healthy – which he didn’t look to be, even after returning – the Chargers could quickly fall behind in a competitive AFC West. The good news is that they have a long week before they face the Jaguars on Sept. 25.
Los Angeles had a prime (video) opportunity to improve to 2-0, both overall and in the division after beating the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1. In an AFC West that could be decided on a tiebreaker, in-division record will be crucial.
Winner: Patrick Mahomes
When isn’t this guy a winner?
Mahomes had a few potential interceptions dropped, but he ultimately was in total control for most of the night. The 2018 league MVP finished 24 of 35 for 235 yards and two touchdowns, bringing his two-game total to seven touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Entering this season, there were questions about how Mahomes would play without Tyreek Hill. He has quickly silenced those doubters, spreading the ball out to a number of different weapons. Nine different Chiefs had a reception on Thursday, and six different players have already caught a touchdown from Mahomes after two weeks.
Winner: Mike Williams
The Chargers won’t be happy losing to a division rival, but Williams was one positive after a quiet Week 1 performance.
He had just two catches for 10 yards last week, even after Chargers No. 1 receiver Keenan Allen left with an injury. Against the Chiefs, though, Williams performed like a No. 1 option with Allen sidelined. He had eight receptions for 113 yards and a wild, one-handed touchdown grab.
Herbert’s injury could be a killer, but we’ll wait on more details before speculating. It wasn’t only that, though, as L.A. also lost its starting center Corey Linsley and right tackle Trey Pipkins.
The offensive line has long been an issue for the Chargers. It finally looked like the problem was solved heading into this season, with stud left tackle Rashawn Slater and first-round rookie Zion Johnson as recent additions. Now, there are questions again about keeping Herbert on his feet.