Analysis

Expert Takeaways From Chiefs’ 27-24 Win over Chargers

Following Thursday night’s AFC West showdown between Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers, analysts Mike Martz, Mitchell Schwartz and Rich Gannon provided their biggest takeaways from the Chiefs’ 27-24 win.

A Pick-Six Changed the Tide

“Both quarterback and wide receiver were at fault, but Herbert has to be able to see throws in that part of the field.”— Rich Gannon, on the 99-yard, fourth-quarter interception return by Chiefs rookie CB Jaylen Watson, who was covering Chargers TE Gerald Everett

“He [Everett] was just gassed and he just did not have enough juice to even react to the ball. I think it’s just unfortunate. I’ve never had receivers tap out, they’re always in such great shape. I was a little disappointed. He had that big play (26-yard catch), but for one play, you can’t be gassed and go to the sideline. This is professional football. But he was tired, just couldn’t move. Unfortunately, that’s where the ball was going. That ends up being the difference in the game. There’s a rule we used to have written on the wall in the wide receivers room: ‘Be where you’re supposed to be, when you’re supposed to be there, and never fool the quarterback.’ That last part’s what he did, he fooled the quarterback.” — Mike Martz

“They thought they had a tell and could go quick and confuse the Chiefs. I just didn’t feel like in that scenario that was necessary. They were in control of the game, offensively that was their drive, they felt like they were going to put their stamp on the game, say, ‘Alright, Chiefs, this is our division now.’ Herbert goes one way, the receiver goes the other way. That was something in the moment, I was surprised to see them do that. Then the outcome was poor on top of it.” — Mitchell Schwartz

Patrick Mahomes Adds to Highlight Reel

“It wasn’t a scramble because of pressure, it was a scramble because coverage was great and Pat (Mahomes) had nothing to do. That’s one when you see, you get excited, you can’t imagine that actually happened the way it just did.” — Mitchell Schwartz, on Mahomes’ sidearm touchdown pass to Jerick McKinnon early in the second quarter

“Those touchdown throws Mahomes made were just stupid. Who does that? Both of them are on the move, just stupid plays.” — Mike Martz

 

Gutsy Performance by Justin Herbert

“Great ones do that, they fight through the pain and they just perform. The two throws he made were just ridiculous to get in there and get the touchdown. That’s why he’s so special. — Martz, on the Chargers QB playing after suffering a rib injury late in the fourth quarter

“Herbert dealing with that injury at the end of the game, pretty incredible, because he was a guy especially in the draft process, he got dinged for not being overly expressive. They were questioning his leadership — is he tough, is he outgoing? I think that was a really great example of the type of leader he is. He was obviously hurt, he was feeling terrible, and just sucked it up and went about his business. — Schwartz

O-Line Chess Match

“Emphasizing quick passes, emphasizing chip help on the edges, but also formations that kind of squeeze the defensive ends … it’s not comfortable, there’s a couple instances I can see in my head where (Nick) Bosa isn’t quite sure where to line up. You’re putting these defensive ends in a bind, your making them think before the play. They can’t just pin their ears back. The Chiefs’ O-line adapted schematically, they also adapted physically. I thought those guys blocked better, especially in the fourth quarter.” — Schwartz

“The second half hurt the Chargers when they lost the lineman (center Corey Linsley), then K.C. took (DT) Chris Jones and moved him to the Chargers’ left guard [away from Zion Johnson], and he just couldn’t block him. That was the difference in the second half.” — Martz

Two Contenders in Playoff Atmosphere

“Watching the first half, it was a really clean game. Very well-coached, good ideas on both sides of the ball. It was kind of a chess match a little bit. Guys were making plays, and defensively, both teams hung in there and played well for a potentially high-scoring game. I thought it looked like a playoff game to me. When they meet again, it’ll be another barn-burner, just like it always is.” — Martz

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