What We Realized from Chiefs’ win over Chargers on Thursday 

September 16, 2022

  1. Justin Herbert had a tough second half. The Herbert harm, taking a shot to his ribs within the fourth quarter, is a narrative we clearly shall be watching this week and subsequent. After accidents to heart Corey Linsley and proper deal with Trey Pipkins, the Chargers merely couldn’t defend their star quarterback, who was hit eight instances. Chiefs edge Mike Danna slammed into Herbert with 5 minutes remaining, and Herbert clearly was in tough form. When he returned to the sport (after sitting out the requisite one play), Herbert was having hassle shifting and throwing, at one level giving up on a play. However he discovered one thing inside him to maintain going — and what a show it was. Regardless of coping with apparent ache, Herbert delivered an absolute dime to DeAndre Carter on fourth down and accomplished the TD drive to present his group an opportunity. A very gutsy efficiency in a shedding effort, one his teammates are more likely to bear in mind for a very long time. The excellent news? Herbert has 9 days to ice and relaxation these ribs … and hope the Chargers’ line will get good well being information, too.
  2. Slightly-known rookie is the hero. The Chiefs seem to have a 2022 draft class they are often pleased with — Trent McDuffie, George Karlaftis, Skyy Moore, Isiah Pacheco and others have stepped into key roles early on. However with McDuffie out for this sport, one other rookie defensive again stepped up in a giant approach. Seventh-round choose Jaylen Watson made the play of the sport within the fourth quarter, stepping in entrance of tight finish Gerald Everett to choose off Herbert’s move and race 99 yards for the go-ahead rating — the longest go-ahead fourth-quarter TD by a rookie in NFL historical past, per NFL Analysis. One collection earlier, Chargers second-year CB Asante Samuel Jr. had an opportunity to do the identical factor however couldn’t haul in Patrick Mahomes’ move. Watson is an neglected member of this rookie class, however after a 4 deal with, one-INT evening in an enormous win, it’s arduous to do this now. He actually outshined fellow rookie DB Bryan Prepare dinner, who was responsible of two boneheaded penalties late within the sport that turned immaterial.
  3. Is the Chargers’ harm bug again? Anybody who has adopted the league for a minute is aware of that the Chargers can’t, as they are saying, win for shedding. Put one other approach: In the event that they didn’t have unhealthy luck, they’d don’t have any luck in any respect. Luck didn’t lose them Thursday’s sport, however accidents performed a giant position. Earlier than Herbert went down, they misplaced Linsley to a knee harm and Pipkins to an ankle. Their replacements, Will Clapp and Storm Norton, had been lower than the problem. After the Chiefs move rush was quiet early, it bought actually scorching when Linsley and Pipkins went out. The Chargers had managed their OL scenario sufficient at one level within the fourth quarter and had been ready to go up a landing with about 10 minutes to go. However a miscommunication with Everett led to a pick-six — after the Chargers missed a shot at a kind of the drive earlier than. Everett gave the impression to be elevating his hand, asking for a breather, after his 26-yard catch and run the play prior. The Chargers didn’t sub him out, although, and Everett and Herbert had been on totally different pages on the fateful route. Herbert began the sport dialed in, however L.A. scored solely seven factors in almost a 43-minute span. The blocking performed an element in that inefficiency. 
  4. Mahomes did simply sufficient. The Chargers took the even handed route in defending Mahomes (not like the Cardinals in Week 1), dashing 4 most frequently, taking part in protection and making the Chiefs beat them with a thousand paper cuts. The technique largely labored, because the Chiefs actually solely flourished on two lengthy drives and Mahomes was largely held in test. They had been burned on considered one of their selective pressures when Mahomes hit Justin Watson on a 41-yard TD, beating J.C. Jackson in his first sport as a Charger. However Mahomes known as it “an unpleasant win” greater than as soon as on the Prime Video postgame present, and for good cause. The Chargers didn’t power a turnover however might have had three picks. Samuel ought to have had a pick-six on a line-drive throw close to the Chargers’ objective line on the finish of the third, dropping an interception for the second week in a row. Mahomes had a choose worn out within the first half on a questionable unlawful contact penalty — and so they finally transformed that into six factors. Kyle Van Noy additionally had his arms on a late move that would have been picked. Mahomes barely even appeared to scramble. It was a bizarre outing, however it had the sensation of Michael Jordan on an off day: He’s nonetheless higher than you’re and can discover methods to win. The TD passes went to Jerick McKinnon and Justin Watson. Travis Kelce had a quiet evening by his requirements. Andy Reid was a bit passive on some game-management selections. The Chargers performed nicely sufficient defensively to win. However Mahomes did sufficient to beat all that.
  5. Is Brandon Staley OK? A couple of of the Chargers’ game-management selections early had been a stunning train in warning. Staley handed up just a few fourth downs we’re used to seeing him go for. Did the best way final season unfolded change the best way he approaches these conditions? On their first possession, they opted for the sector objective over going for it on fourth-and-2 from the Kansas Metropolis 13-yard line. Not legal however out of character, a minimum of what we’ve come to know of Staley. Then close to the tip of the half, they punted on 4th and a couple of from the KC 48 — after going for it earlier within the sport on 4th and 1 from the plus-49. In accordance to Next Gen Stats, all three had been slight leans towards going for it. Hmm … It labored out as a result of Reid didn’t name timeout (maybe apprehensive Staley may change his thoughts) and let the clock roll down greater than 30 seconds; the Chiefs ended up punting. Then on the primary drive of the second half, Staley went for it on fourth-and-1 from the Chiefs’ 18; they not solely transformed it but additionally turned the drive right into a landing and a 10-point lead. Ought to they’ve been extra aggressive early on? It feels that approach, however hindsight may be blinding. The Chargers had been in each single sport final 12 months and averaged two fourth-down tries each trip. Then once more, they missed the postseason. Has Staley modified his hyper-aggressive type? It may be one thing to watch. Or maybe he simply felt good on the time about how his group was taking part in on this sport. In fact, we all know now that didn’t find yourself mattering, and Reid performed it conservatively, too, passing up a shot at a TD on fourth-and-goal from the Los Angeles 1 — with a backup kicker!
  6. Mike Williams is okay, we predict. Coming off a quiet Week 1 (two catches, 10 yards), Williams surpassed these totals on the primary and second offensive snaps of the sport for the Chargers, catching 9- and 15-yard passes. He’d end with eight catches for 113 yards and an excellent TD seize, stepping up in a giant approach with Keenan Allen out with an harm. Williams has all the time been streaky one week to the subsequent in his profession. Then, increase! You lookup on the finish of the season and he’s bought 1,000 yards, at 15-plus yards a seize. Loads of that manufacturing has come in opposition to the Chiefs, too. Williams is a infamous Chiefs killer, particularly at Arrowhead, and it was no totally different Thursday evening. The Chiefs had been shorthanded within the secondary and did what they may to bracket Williams once they went man-coverage, but additionally performed plenty of zone, which allowed him to seek out gentle cushions within the protection. Williams’ TD seize was a factor of magnificence, a 39-yard diving catch regardless of being held and interfered with. Assuming Herbert doesn’t miss time, Williams must be in line for a giant season — which is all the time nice to see after a participant indicators an extension. If he performed on a special group, Williams’ star may be far greater.

Subsequent Gen stat of the sport: After Jaylen Watson’s 99-yard INT return, the Chiefs’ win likelihood jumped from 31% to 85%. That’s the most important win likelihood swing (a 54% improve) on any pick-six over the previous three NFL seasons..

NFL Analysis: Mike Williams is the primary visiting participant with 100+ receiving yards and 1+ receiving TD in three consecutive video games at Arrowhead Stadium. Travis Kelce is the one Chiefs participant with such a streak.

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