7 takeaways from Chargers’ Week 2 loss to Chiefs

The Chargers were outlasted by the Chiefs on Thursday night, 27-24.

A day after Los Angeles’ loss, here are my takeaways:

Tough as nails

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It wouldn’t be fair to say that Herbert had his best game on Thursday night. In the first half of play, his timing was off, he was behind receivers on some throws and looked antsy in the pocket as if there was pressure, even when there wasn’t.

He did settle down out of the tunnel, but after injuries to center Corey Linsley and right tackle Trey Pipkins, the Chargers could not protect Herbert, who was pressured 13 times. That led to Herbert taking a shot to his rib injury that knocked him out for a play late in the fourth quarter.

When he returned, he didn’t look comfortable at all. Nonetheless, he still led a nine-play, 73-yard drive that ended with a touchdown pass to Joshua Palmer on fourth-and-goal. Herbert connected with DeAndre Carter on that same drive for a 35-yard pickup on 4th-and-1.

Herbert finished the game, completing 33 of 48 passes for 334 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.

The diagnosis of Herbert’s injury is fractured rib cartilage, and he is day to day. Staley added that he could be back at practice next week, but the team will take the weekend and reassess on Monday to determine whether he can go.

Mike Williams feasts on Chiefs

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Death, taxes, and Mike Williams having a day in Kansas City

Coming off a quiet Week 1 (two catches, 10 yards), Williams balled out. The Chiefs did what they could to bracket him, but Williams had success at finding soft cushions when they went into zone coverage.

Williams finished with eight catches for 113 yards and an eye-popping one-handed grab in the end zone, stepping up in a big way with Keenan Allen out with a hamstring injury.

Williams is the first visiting player with 100+ receiving yards and 1+ receiving touchdown in three consecutive games at Arrowhead Stadium.

Asante Samuel Jr. was awesome

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Should Samuel have had two interceptions? Yes. Do those dropped picks mean that he played poorly? Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, Samuel was the Chargers’ best defensive back on Thursday night.

On 36 coverage snaps, Samuel allowed three receptions on six targets for just 20 yards (6.7 yards per reception). He was also good as an open-field tackler.

J.C. Jackson will be just fine

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The expectations will always be high whenever a star player makes their debut. So it was no different when it was announced that Jackson was active after missing a few weeks due to an ankle procedure.

Despite that, expectations should have been tempered, given that Jackson hadn’t practiced and primarily ran and did individual defensive back drills.

Patrick Mahomes targeted Jackson eight times, completing seven passes for 79 yards and a 41-yard touchdown to Justin Watson, where Jackson got turned around, and Mahomes delivered a strike.

Take out that play, and Jackson allowed just six catches for 38 yards (6.3 yards per reception). Many of those came from short-outs when Jackson was playing off the line of scrimmage.

Out of character

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Brandon Staley is known for his fearless game management in fourth-down situations, but that mentality did not appear to be there on Thursday night.

The Chargers had a 4th-and-2 from the Chiefs’ 12 on their first possession, and he elected for a field goal. A couple of drives later, Los Angeles had a 4th-and-2 from Kansas City’s 47, and he chose to punt. On the ensuing drive, the Bolts punted on 4th-and-2 from the Chiefs’ 47.

According to Next Gen Stats, all three seemed to be in the Bolts’ favor. However, Staley thought differently and felt confident in the defense to make stops. While it may be a valid point, against Kansas City, finding the end zone in any way possible is imperative to beating them.

Defense did what it needed to

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Staley trusted his defense, and he had every right to because they played really well against Mahomes and Kansas City’s high-powered offense.

The Chargers held Mahomes to just 235 yards, two touchdowns and 6.7 yards per attempt. Aside from a couple of big throws, they compressed the pocket, kept contain, and got in his face with some creative simulated pressures to minimize him from working his magic.

Regarding the run, when you look at the box score, it’s easy to assume that the Chiefs had success with 93 yards on 18 carries. However, Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s rush for 52 yards late made the difference. Take out that run and they were held to 41 yards on 17 carries (2.4 yards per carry).

The defense was dominant, but...

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Too many errors and missed opportunities on that side of the ball cost the Chargers the game.

Samuel had two missed interceptions – one led to a field goal and the other to Watson’s 41-yard touchdown catch.

Bryce Callahan was called for illegal contact when it appeared that Marquez Valdes-Scantling was the one who pushed off on him. On that play, Nasir Adderley picked off Mahomes. Instead, Mahomes and Jerick McKinnon’s connected for a nine-yard score a few plays later.

In the third quarter, Mahomes, who was pressured, chucked a careless pass into the air for Mecole Hardman. Derwin James picked it off, but Adderley was called for pass interference, as he ran into Hardman before the ball got there.

You can blame the refs, but when you play against a team of the Chiefs’ caliber, things like this cannot occur, especially this many errors and missed opportunities.

Story originally appeared on Chargers Wire