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Rookie Jaylen Watson interception leads to Kansas City win

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Kansas City, Missouri — Three years ago, Jalen Watson worked for her mother at Wendy’s in Augusta, Georgia. On Thursday, he was the most important player on Kansas City’s field, yet few had heard of it.

Watson had this opportunity to start at cornerback against the Los Angeles Chargers and their All-Pro quarterback Justin Herbert.

Watson made the most of it.

With Kansas City and Los Angeles tied 17-17 in the fourth quarter, with two yards before the Chargers took the lead, Watson stepped in front of tight end Gerald Everett and picked up a throw from Justin Herbert for 99 points. Finished one game with skipping yards.Change in pick 6

When he reached the end zone, Watson confided that he didn’t really know what to do.

“The ball fell on my chest and I took it home,” he said. “It felt surreal.”

This was a backbreaker for the Chargers, who were trying to do something they hadn’t done in a decade. He started the season 2-0.

Instead, Kansas City built the play to win Thursday night’s game, 27-24.

They did it in a united team. Kicker Matt Amendola was signed this week to replace the injured Harrison Butker. He was the eventual game winner, scoring his goals in two of his fields, including a 31-yarder, with his three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

Facing his team’s last possession, Herbert drove the Chargers 73 yards in two minutes, interrupting the drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Josh Palmer. It wasn’t good enough.

Los Angeles attempted an onside kick that bounced Kansas City’s way, leaving Patrick Mahomes to his knees for the rest of the time.

What was supposed to be a pinball-style scoring fest propelled by Herbert and Mahomes turned into a battle between two oft-maligned defenses. By taking his 10-7 lead at halftime, the Chargers bullied the Kansas City offensive his line, scrimmage Mahomes on virtually every play, interfered deep in his line, and packed runs. I was.

The restarted Chargers looked poised to push Kansas City off their home field when Mike Williams made a one-handed grab for a 15-yard touchdown on Los Angeles’ opening drive of the second half.

Instead, patient Mahomes cut Charger to pieces. In the ensuing possession, Mahomes threw passes to his 10 different teammates who were 6, 8 and 12 yards out at once. And when he saw another newcomer, Justin Watson, streaking down the middle of the field through his loneliness, Mahomes flew a 41-yard pass for a touchdown to give the Chargers the lead. I narrowed it down to 17-14.

Jalen Watson and his defensive teammates were visibly rejuvenated. Defensive linemen Chris Jones and George Karrafutis chased Herbert through the second half, and Mike Dana hit Herbert with four minutes to go, causing him to break at one point. I literally exited the game.

“The defense just kept bringing it up over and over,” said Kansas City manager Andy Reed.

Herbert came back and finished with a brave 334 yards on 33 of 48 passes for 3 touchdowns. Mahomes was traded to the Dolphins in Miami in the offseason. In the 24th inning he scored two touchdowns.

But it was Watson who delivered the hero. Spending time at home with his mother made him realize how much he misses football. Watson received several scholarship offers from small schools, but he instead chose to go to college in Ventura, California, where he spent both years studying at JUCO All his American College. Certified.

In 2019 Watson signed with the University of Southern California. However, his performance was poor and his offer was cancelled. His mother ran a Wendy’s and made him work.

“I learned resilience,” said Watson. “I was given nothing. I think that’s my strength. I bring hunger. I bring anger to the football field.”

At 6-2 pounds and 196 pounds, Watson impressed his teammates in training camp beyond just his physical prowess.

he is confident He means it’s big when he’s in the corner. Because sometimes he gets beaten and has to back down,” said Mahomes, his much more famous teammate. “He’s got big, tall corners, he’s got physical, he’ll give you a hand, but he’s fast enough to run. He’s the one who made the play. Whenever his number was called, he played. I did.”

When Watson learned he was going to start, he called home to make sure there was a local crowd at Arrowhead Stadium for his first NFL start.

Did Wendy’s boss go on a trip?

“Yes, my mother has appeared,” he said. “Not the boss of Wendy’s”