Everyone found an Amazon Prime video broadcast Thursday night of watching Justin Herbert vs. Patrick Mahomes. Instead, Jaylen Watson ended up being the star of the show.
Jaylen who? Watson was a seventh-round pick for the Kansas City Chiefs in this year’s draft. He got into a big role in Thursday night’s game because first-round pick Trent McDuffy was knocked out due to an injury.
In a game full of big-name players, Watson made the play that decided it.
In the fourth quarter tie game, Watson picked up Justin Herbert’s pass near the goal line and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown. This completely changed the tide of the match, with The Chiefs claiming a 27-24 victory in a looming all-season match in the AFC West Race.
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Before the game’s biggest game—and what would hold up as one of the top plays of the season—Chargers Tight end Gerald Everett was asking to go out after catching a pass inside the 5-yard line. The Chargers wanted to keep playing fast without dribbling, so they didn’t take Everett out of the game. This allowed Watson to jump inside Everett on a Herbert pass and wrap around a massive teams game.
Chargers will regret this series of events throughout the season.
Not a high score start
The game was expected to be one high-goal game with two of the NFL’s most exciting quarterbacks, but both offenses struggled to score in the first half. The Chargers took a 10-0 lead, and the Chiefs answered with a nice touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to Jerrick McKinnon. Both offenders were fairly effective, but there weren’t many big plays. Both defenses focused on not letting the other team’s strong quarterback hit them over the top, and they often kept everything in front of them.
The charger hit the spot in the third quarter. They finished fourth and one in a strong race for Austin Eckler. Then Herbert floated one to Mike Williams, who made a massive catch with one hand. This put the chargers in front 17-7.
Mahomes is right back. Mahomes climbed into the pocket and with a flick of his wrist hit Justin Watson — who was in the match because Mikol Hardman went off before the play with a heel injury — deep into the field for 41 yards. Even Mahomes’ old teammate Terek Hill was impressed.
He put a tense end to the class rivals in a tight race in West Asia all season.
Momentum changes in the fourth quarter
The fourth quarter began with the Chiefs deciding whether to go to him in fourth and aiming from the 1-yard line. The Chiefs settled on a 19-yard field goal. It was a safe game, but tied 17-17.
It turned out well. The Charger traveled down the right field and got inside the 5-yard line on the Everett pickup. Everett was exhausted and wanted out of the game, but the chargers were in urgent mode and he didn’t come out. Everett slacked off a bit on his short way, letting Watson jump inside him and pick up an intercept that he went back 99 yards for a hit. It was the kind of inconspicuous bug, ignoring Everett’s attempt to get out of the game, that could decide a very important match.
The chargers went three times after that, and it was clear that all the momentum the chargers had built over three quarters over was gone.
Herbert had another chance, though, as he fell for a few frightening moments after being injured. He got up and went back inside after one game, but was hit again on his next attempt and frowned as he got up, holding his side. Herbert’s two passes on his return were incomplete and he chased the Charger four minutes before the end of the match. Clyde Edwards Heller hit 52 yards after that and the game was over. The Chiefs got a field goal to give 10 points.
The Chargers scored 1:11 from the left on a fourth pass down from Herbert to Josh Palmer, but Chiefs retook a side kick to wrap up the win.
The Chiefs have been challenged by the Chargers, and can be pushed into the AFC West race all season long. But the choice of six Watsons stole the show. Chiefs fans will remember his name after Thursday night.
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