Rookie Jaylen Watson steals the show as Kansas City Chiefs edge out Los Angeles Chargers 27-24 on Thursday Night Football

by 24USATVSept. 16, 2022, 6 p.m. 17
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The rookie, who once took a break from sport on the college level and worked at a Wendy's, has not had an easy path and was rightfully thrilled with his performance.

"I've just been working my butt off and, if the time came where someone went down, I was going to be ready and prepared, and that's what happened," Watson said after the game.

"I woke up knowing I was going to get a pick, honestly," he said. "I just knew, being a seventh-rounder, having my first start, I was going to get tested a lot and early, and I just felt I was going to get one today, and that's what happened.

"I was surprised. I still knew I was going to get one, but obviously, I was surprised when it happened." The Chiefs started slowly, with Mahomes being tightly marshaled by an aggressive Chargers defense which restricted the home team to just 13 yards in the first quarter. LA took an early 10-point lead after Herbert got his first touchdown on the night, finding Alexander Horvath on a one-yard toss three seconds into the second quarter, but Mahomes showed his class when he side-armed a nine-yard touchdown pass to Jerick McKinnon early in the second quarter to close the gap to 10-7. The best photos from the 2022 NFL season Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow throws during the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1 on September 11 in Cincinnati. Burrow would go on to have five turnovers on the day — four interceptions and a lost fumble — in a 23-20 loss. The best photos from the 2022 NFL season Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) had nine receptions for 184 yards and two TDs in a big 23-7 division win against the Green Bay Packers on September 11 in Minneapolis. This pass, however, was incomplete. The best photos from the 2022 NFL season Seattle Seahawks fans make noise as Russell Wilson (3) of the Denver Broncos prepares to take a snap during a failed game-winning drive on September 12. It was Wilson's first game back in Seattle since leaving for Denver after 10 years with the Seahawks. Seattle won 17-16. The best photos from the 2022 NFL season Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb makes a run in the red zone against the Carolina Panthers on September 11 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Chubb had 141 yards on 22 carries in a tight 26-24 win for the Browns. The best photos from the 2022 NFL season Soldiers hold the American flag during the national anthem before the first half of the game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints on September 11 in Atlanta. The best photos from the 2022 NFL season Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen stiff-arms Los Angeles Rams safety Nick Scott in the third quarter of a massive 31-10 win against the defending Super Bowl champions at SoFi Stadium. The statement victory on NFL Opening Day shows the Bills are serious contenders for the title in 2022. The best photos from the 2022 NFL season Detroit Lions fans play catch with running back Jamaal Williams at Ford Field. The Lions fell just short in a late comeback against the Philadelphia Eagles — scoring 14 points in the 4th quarter — to lose 38-35. The best photos from the 2022 NFL season Free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. poses for a photo prior to the season opener between the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Rams on September 8. OBJ has flirted with signing with either the Rams or the Bills this season, and although he showed up in Rams colors on the day, he went viral following the Bills' big win, tweeting , "Sheeesh.... Bills mafia ??????" The best photos from the 2022 NFL season New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas makes a reception against Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell in the second half of their game in Atlanta on September 11. Thomas had two touchdown catches on the day as the Saints outscored the Falcons by 14 in the fourth to win 27-26. The best photos from the 2022 NFL season Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields celebrates after the Bears' 19-10 win against the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field. Fields threw for two touchdowns on a rain-soaked day in Chicago. Chargers receiver Mike Williams made an outstanding, one-handed catch to make it 17-7 with 9:52 left in the third before Mahomes completed a 75-yard, seven-play drive with a 41-yard bomb to Justin Watson just two-and-a-half minutes later to cut the lead back to three. With the score tied following a Matt Ammendola field goal early in the fourth, it was time for Jaylen Watson to shine. The cornerback out of Washington State, intercepted Herbert's throw just one yard off the goal line before taking it to the house to give the Chiefs their first lead of the game. Things went from bad to worse for the Chargers when Herbert was slammed into the ground by Chiefs defensive end Mike Danna on his release, taking a shot to his ribs with 5:06 left in the fourth. Herbert has 10 days to recover before the Chargers' next game. Despite playing the rest of the game, he was clearly struggling and Chargers fans now have an anxious wait to hear if there is any injury break for the quarterback. After another Ammendola field goal to put the Chiefs up 10, Herbert pushed through the pain to throw another TD to Joshua Palmer with 1:11 left in the game, but it wasn't enough as the Chiefs held out for the win to take them to 2-0 on the year. After the game, Chargers head coach Head Coach Brandon Staley was bullish on Herbert's fitness. "You're not going to see a quarterback at any level of football play tougher and do more for their team and will their team to give them a chance more than him," Staley said. "There's nobody that can do what he can do, nobody. He showed a lot of guts, he showed us what he shows every day, that we're never out of the fight, and he brought us back and gave us a chance." Despite the loss, the Chargers will be pleased with the start to the season after beating the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1, 24-19, before pushing a strong Chiefs squad so close.

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