The first game on Amazon prime Thursday night football was another back-and-forth game between Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes.
Quentin Morris @quentincmorris
The Kansas City Chiefs won a close game 24-27 against the Los Angeles Chargers. Even though both these teams have high-flying offenses the story of the game is the Chiefs’ defense.
Rookie cornerback Jaylen Watson takes an interception from one end zone to the other, in a play that started the Chiefs rally to help them beat the LA Chargers. (CBS sports)
The Chiefs’ defense was able to limit the damage during the game. Despite getting down 10-0 before the end of the first quarter, the defense kept the Chargers from blowing the game open. Head coach Andy Reid gave credit to the defense for continuing to play hard during the game.
“I thought our defense kept bringing it and bringing it, especially in the second half,” Reid said.
The Chiefs’ defense not only kept the Chargers at bay but they also had the biggest play of the game. With the game tied at 17 and the Chargers driving, rookie cornerback Jaylen Watson jumped a route on the one-yard line and ran it back 99 yards for a touchdown.
Next Gen Stats had this single play jump the Chiefs’ win probability by more than 50%
“The Chiefs win probability jumped from 31% to 85% as a result of Watson’s pick-six of Justin Herbert, a 54% increase, the biggest win probability swing on a pick-six over the last three seasons.”
The Chiefs’ defense was able to keep the Chargers from converting on third down. They had a 31% conversion rate. This is despite the fact the Chargers did not have a lot of third and long situations. The Chargers punted the ball six times. On four of those six times, the Chargers had less than three yards to go four times. The Chiefs were winning drives even when the Chargers had an advantage.
The defense put pressure on Justin Herbert. Chris Jones stepped up last night and provided two sacks on Herbert. One of those sacks almost led to a safety.
The defense was also able to keep the running game in check. Austin Ekeler had 14 carries for 39 yards. With the longest carry of eight yards. They were able to keep the Chargers to less than 100 yards on the ground.
That lack of a run game came from great linebacker play from Nick Bolten and Willie Gay. They both led the team in tackles. Gay is one of the top reasons Ekeler did not burn the Chiefs for more yards. While he did miss two tackles against the running back he allowed other players to get into position to make tackles and made solo tackles preventing bigger plays.
On the offensive side, Patrick Mahomes kept the team in the game, with his great play. On the first touchdown, Mahomes scrambled in the pocket and moved to his right to side arm the ball to running back Jerrick McKinnon for a nine-yard touchdown.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire had 118 yards from scrimmage. His 52-yard run helped bleed the clock. It also put the Chiefs in position to kick a field goal to go up by 10 points with less than 4 minutes left in the game.
The Chiefs’ week three game faces the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 25.