Patrick Mahomes threw two touchdown passes, rookie Jaylen Watson returned an interception 99 yards for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, and the Kansas City Chiefs held on to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 27-24 on Thursday night.
Mahomes finished with 235 yards passing, and Jerick McKinnon and Justin Watson hauled in TD passes for the Chiefs (2-0), who fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter and spent most of the game catching up.
Jaylen Watson finally put the Chiefs ahead after the Chargers (1-1), who answered Matt Ammendola’s game-tying goal, marched to the Kansas City 3. Justin Herbert watched tight end Gerald Everett as Watson, a seventh-round pick, made his first start, walked in front of the pass with 10:29 left and ran almost untouched the other way to the end zone.
Chiefs’ Jaylen Watson intercepted Justin Herbert and returned it 99 yards for the touchdown
The rookie’s touchdown helped the hosts turn things around against the Chargers on Thursday night
Chargers’ Asante Samuel Jr. reacts after a crucial field goal by Chiefs kicker Matt Ammendola
Things got worse for the Chargers (1-1) two series later when Herbert was drilled by Mike Danna delivering a throw. He left the field and stayed on the sideline, returning one play later, then threw an incompletion that forced the Chargers to punt.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire immediately split the defense on a 52-yard run to set up a Kansas City field goal.
Herbert, who finished with 334 yards and three touchdown passes, tried wildly to keep the Chargers alive. He threw a 36-yard dart on fourth down to extend the ensuing possession, then found Joshua Palmer in the back of the end zone on fourth-and-goal to pull Los Angeles within 27-24 with just over a minute left.
Los Angeles Chargers’ Mike Williams (left) produced a sensational catch for the touchdown
Herbert threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Williams in the second half to extend the lead
Williams still had a lot to do for the touchdown, but made the catch look easy on Arrowhead
Williams celebrates after scoring the Chargers’ second touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock in a decisive AFC West victory.
The highly anticipated matchup between two of the league’s prolific young quarterbacks, each surrounded by premier playmakers, turned out to be a defensive slugfest early on.
The Chargers held the Chiefs to 13 yards in the first quarter, thanks to relentless pressure from Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack and the fact that Derwin James Jr. was just about everywhere, holding off a team that scored 44 points last week in Arizona. scoreboard until Mahomes threw a sidearm pass to McKinnon early in the second quarter.
Chiefs’ star quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the charge in the AFC West head-to-head
Mahomes threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Justin Watson to make it a three-point game
Justin Watson (#84) celebrates with his Chiefs teammates after scoring a touchdown
The Chargers fared better offensively, although coach Brandon Staley chose to play conservatively, twice on fourth-and-2 near midfield. Dustin Hopkins kicked an early field goal before Mike Williams, dominating the smaller Chiefs defensive backs, put the Chargers in position for Zander Horvath to catch a short TD pass.
Staley eventually went for it on fourth down on the opening drive of the second half. And one play after Austin Ekeler picked it off, Williams made a one-handed grab around Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed to give the Chargers a 17-7 lead.
The game appeared to get away from the Chiefs when Mahomes was intercepted by Asante Samuel Jr. on their next possession. But replays showed Samuel did not control the ball and the call was overturned, and Mahomes took advantage of his second chance by throwing a 41-yard strike to Justin Watson for a touchdown.
The Chiefs tied the game at 17-all on the first play of the fourth quarter when Ammendola, who was signed earlier this week to replace the injured Harrison Butker, knocked in a chip shot on fourth down at the goal line.
That set up Jaylen Watson’s pick six and the first lead Kansas City had all night.
Mahomes produced a moment of magic for the Chiefs’ first touchdown of the Week 2 opener
Relive DailyMail.com’s live blog of the huge Week 2 matchup between the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs: