Analysis

Chiefs Beat Chargers in Drama-Filled AFC West Showdown

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Los Angeles Chargers, 27-24, Thursday night, securing the victory on a 99-yard, fourth-quarter interception return for a touchdown by rookie cornerback Jaylen Watson.

It wasn’t the explosive, high-scoring affair many expected, but the AFC West matchup maintained a high level of excitement and intrigue all the way to the end.

On the key interception, tight end Gerald Everett signaled to come off the field but had to stay on because the Chargers and quarterback Justin Herbert were running an up-tempo offense at the time. At the end of his route, Everett seemed to float away, allowing Watson to intercept the pass.

“No need to go up-tempo, Everett was gassed and just quit,” said Mike Martz, former NFL head coach and analyst for The 33rd Team. “The receiver should never give position to the ball.”

Rich Gannon, former MVP QB and analyst for The 33rd Team concurred, but put a larger part of the blame on the Chargers QB.

“Both quarterback and wide receiver were at fault,” Gannon said, “but Herbert has to be able to see throws in that part of the field.”

Surprisingly, it was the Chiefs’ defense, and not their high-powered offense, that kept them in the game. The defense allowed the Chargers to convert only 5-of-16 third-down attempts and 3-of-5 red-zone opportunities. The Chargers (1-1) mounted a drive in the final few minutes of the game to draw within three points, but they could not recover the final onside kick, keeping Kansas City (2-0) perfect this season through two weeks.

The Chiefs’ offense was not as dominant as they were against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1, especially in the first half.

“Mahomes looked frustrated by the Chargers’ pass rush,” said Martz, who suggested at halftime the Chiefs “run more, chip the defensive ends and get the ball to tight end Travis Kelce.”

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