The Chiefs had a rough showing on Thursday Night but came out ahead by three points. Here are the three players who made the key plays to help Kansas City start 2-0
A win is a win, the saying goes. The Chiefs were victorious over their AFC West foe for the second straight time, but Los Angeles seems poised to contend with Kansas City as they move deeper into the season.
The Chiefs looked lost at times throughout the game, sometimes not getting the right play call or just messing up a coverage, or not wrapping up. The Chiefs were able to win this game and still be undefeated, and most importantly win a divisional game against a team ready to make a Super Bowl run. While the offense struggled, it made timely plays due to a couple of key players and the defense made the most timely play of all.
The Chiefs made Jaylen Watson, a seventh-round draft pick this year in the draft, start in place of the injured Trent McDuffie. McDuffie went on injured reserve this week, and in a crucial primetime game against a division rival, he delivered the Chiefs’ biggest play of the night.
Watson intercepted a pass from Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert in the fourth quarter and returned it 99 yards for a miracle pick-six. After that play, the situation completely shifted and the Chiefs had an 81% probability to win the game. Watson just stole the show! It was actually the longest go-ahead fourth-quarter TD by a rookie in NFL history, per NFL Research.
Watson, a rookie cornerback, might have played the most important game of his career showing his skills and after a four-tackle, one interception night, he could go further up in the roster. One thing is for sure, he played much better than rookie DB Bryan Cook, who had a tough night with two costly special teams penalties late in the game.
Wide receiver Justin Watson caught a 41-yard touchdown pass to help get the Chiefs in striking distance in the third quarter. Watson has always had great chemistry with Patrick Mahomes even during training camp, so we were expecting him sometime during the season.
“Justin Watson came in when Mecole (Hardman) was a little banged up, and he got Mecole’s route and he won against a Pro Bowl, All-Pro corner,” Mahomes said. “For guys like that to make their imprint on the game, that will help us out as we get into games like this.”
Justin Watson, a 6-foot-2 215-pound, wide receiver should get more opportunities this year since Mahomes likes to target the large wideout. It was also retribution for a mistake he made when he was with Tampa Bay, where then-Chargers defensive back Mike Daniels got a pick-six off of a tip by Watson.
“That’s a play I’ve thought about a lot over the last two years,” Watson said after the game. Well if he can keep up the solid hands and fast, crisp routes, he should be playing more and forgetting the mistakes of his past.
The Chiefs’ defense improved in the second half, adjusting their game plan and finding ways to get the ball back to the offense. Chiefs’ defensive tackle Chris Jones became more aggressive as the game went on. He had three tackles, two sacks, and one pass deflection Thursday Night.
He had a great night after a disappointing first week when he stated the defense just played ok. If his performance and the rest of the defense can keep getting better, this is going to be a tough unit to score on. The defense has had big plays and performances when the offense needed it the most.
The Chiefs are now preparing for the Colts game on Sunday, September 25th hopefully start 3-0.