Grant Green – 23 Sports

After such a dominant victory against the Houston Texans on opening night, Kansas City came into this game with expectations of another cruise to victory. However, the rookie quarterback out of Oregon, Justin Herbert, halted plans and put the Chiefs on the ropes.

Not long into the game, Adam Schefter tweeted out that Los Angeles’ starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor suffered a chest injury right before kickoff, giving Herbert the start. 

 On his first drive, with help from a big 35-yard reception that started 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage by another rookie, Joshua Kelly out of UCLA, Herbert rushed for four yards for a touchdown and put the Chargers up 7-0 early.

After that, it took Kansas City a long time, at least for their expectations, to get on the board, but Mahomes was able to cap off a ten-play drive with a back corner pass to Travis Kelce. However, Harrison Butker’s extra point was blocked, holding the Chargers’ lead at 7-6.

The Chargers responded immediately with an 11-play drive with a back corner touchdown pass of their own from Herbert to second year man Jalen Guyton. Los Angeles went into the half up 14-6 over their division foe.

After a field goal put the Chargers up 17-6 through almost three quarters, we had yet to see any “rookie plays” out of Herbert until the very next drive. Getting close to ending the third quarter, in Kansas City territory, Herbert scrambled out from pressure and with the nearest defender six yards away from the first down line, decides against getting the easy first down and elects to take a deep shot to a double-covered Keenan Allen and is picked off by L’Jarius Sneed.

The very next drive, Mahomes hits Tyreek Hills for a 54-yard touchdown with two Charger defenders right behind him. What was more impressive, but not surprising, of Mahomes is that at the time of the release, he was at his own 38 yard line, and at the time Hill first caught the pass, he was at the opposing 10 yard line and bounced into the endzone from there. Kansas City’s two-point conversion was successful, tying the game at 17-17 a little over two minutes into the fourth quarter.

Los Angeles and Kansas City exchanged field goals, making it 20-20 to end regulation. The Chargers led a long 10-minute drive, got to within the five, and failed to get into the endzone. The Chiefs led a quick drive with Mahomes rushing for a first down on 3rd and 20 at the Los Angeles 45 yard line.

The Chargers won the coin toss in overtime but were held to a three and out, and now it was the Chiefs’ game to win picking up the ball at their own 21. After a series of small gains, Kansas City faced a 4th and 1 on Los Angeles’ 45 yard line. A clear decision for Andy Reid, Darwin Thompson would rush for a successful conversion.

Two minutes later, on another fourth and one, Andy Reid brings out the kicking unit for the possible game-winning field goal. And here was easily the most entertaining part of the game. Kansas City snaps the ball, and Butker makes the first field goal, a 53 yarder, but a false start called on Guard Nick Allegretti puts Kansas City back 5 yards. The next play, Butker squeaks in a 58 yard field goal, but this time it was called off since Los Angeles called a timeout to ice the kicker. But if anyone can drill three 50 yard field goals in a row, in clutch time, it’s Butker of all people, and with the third time indeed being a charm, the next field goal was good, no objections. Kansas City remains undefeated through two games, winning 23-20, and Los Angeles falls to 1-1.

Next Week the Chiefs take on probably the second best team in the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens, if Kansas City is No. 1, easily the most anticipated game of the season with both being 2-0, and as good as these teams are, this game alone could have playoff implications.

The Chargers get a chance to bounce back against a struggling Carolina Panthers team that just lost arguably the best running back in the league, Christian McCaffrey, for a few weeks, needing to collect some easy wins in a season with an extra playoff spot.

About Smith, Kayler (MU-Student)

View all posts by Smith, Kayler (MU-Student)