The Chargers were on the losing end for the first time this season, falling to the Chiefs 27-24 on Thursday night in Kansas City.
Here are five takeaways from the Chargers' Week 2 loss:
Justin Herbert has immense toughness
Justin Herbert showed Thursday night the grit he has as a player. After taking a hit to his midsection from Chiefs pass rusher Mike Danna, Herbert was in clear pain and slow to get up.
After coming out for one play, Herbert re-entered the game and hung in there for the remained of the contest.
"It was a tough game. You're not going to see a quarterback, in any level of football, play tougher and do more for their team and will their team to give them a chance than him," coach Brandon 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. He brought us back and gave us a chance."
Herbert, grimacing as he attempted to make passes, orchestrated a touchdown drive setup by a 35-yard connection to DeAndre Carter in the final two minutes to put the Chargers within three points.
"That throw was as good as a throw, under the circumstances, that you are going to see in pro sports," Staley said.
While Herbert didn't speak with reporters after the game, Staley said that he's "ok" and doesn’t think his rib injury will be an issue moving forward. Staley added that they'll know more regarding his status tomorrow following the results from tests.
Mike Williams continues to dominate in Kansas City
With Keenan Allen sidelined with a hamstring injury, it was the Mike Williams show against the Chiefs secondary.
Williams is no stranger to posting a big stat-line in Kansas City, and he did it again this time around, catching eight passes for 113 yards and one touchdown.
"Mike Williams, the reason why we brought him back is because he's an elite competitor, big-time player, primetime player," Staley said of Williams. "With Keenan being out, we knew the coverage would be tilted to his side and a lot of rolled up coverage to him."
Williams hauled in his seventh career touchdown at Kansas City, marking the most ever by a visiting player.
The scoring grab came in which Williams caught Herbert's pass one-handed with a defender draped over him.
Offensive line struggled following injuries to two starters
The Chargers offensive line finished the game without two starters as they were sidelined as a result of injury. Center Corey Linsley suffered a knee injury and right tackle Trey Pipkins encountered an injury to his ankle.
That left the team to turn towards Will Clapp at center and Storm Norton at right tackle.
"We had a lot of guys rise to the occasion that were backup players today and give us a chance," Staley said. "I'm proud of the way we competed as a team."
As a whole, the Chargers allowed 21 pressures across Herbert's 48 dropbacks against the Chiefs' pass rush, according to Pro Football Focus. Herbert was on the receiving end of eight quarterback hits.
Brandon Staley picked his spots whether or not to go for it on fourth down
It's well documented from Staley's first year as head coach of the Chargers that he leans on the aggressive side of fourth down decisions. But in Week 2 against the Chiefs, he picked his spots accordingly.
Staley opted for a field goal on fourth-and-2 from the Chiefs' 13-yard line – a spot last year that likely would've kept the offense on the field. Staley also called upon the punting unit twice when facing fourth-and-2 situations near midfield that were out of field goal range.
"Just wanted to give our defense a chance to compete, I really loved the way we were playing," Staley said. "I felt like that was the formula, to flip the field there. I felt like we were aggressive when we needed to be tonight, converted all four of our fourth downs."
The Chargers did, however, hit at a rate of 100% on fourth down attempts, going four-for-four on the night.
Chargers weren’t able to secure interceptions for one reason or another
The Chargers had a handful of opportunities to take the ball away from Patrick Mahomes, but for one reason or another, they were not able to do so successfully.
The Chargers had two possible interceptions go off the hands of defenders. They also had a missed call haunt them when safety Nasir Adderley picked off Mahomes but Bryce Callahan was called for illegal contact. After looking at the replay, Marquez Valdes-Scantling threw Callahan to the ground in what looked to be a questionable defensive pass interference call by the officiating crew.
"The one on Bryce Callahan, an obvious offensive pass interference," Staley said. "At minimum. That's as tough as it gets. It was perfect coverage, it was perfectly defended so that's a tough one."
In the later stages of the game, Asante Samuel Jr. picked off Mahomes, but after further review, it was declared by the officiating crew that the ball had hit the ground.
"Asante's was close. It's subjective, but he needs to finish that play. He's capable of it."
Following the officials decision to overturn Samuel's interception, the Chiefs hit on a touchdown six plays later.
More from Charger Report
- Chargers QB Justin Herbert Empties the Tank Following Fourth Quarter Injury in 27-24 Loss to Chiefs
- Live In-Game Updates: Chargers at Chiefs Week 2
- Chargers at Chiefs Week 2 Inactives
- Pregame Report: Chargers at Chiefs Week 2
- Chargers at Chiefs Game Day Betting Odds: Week 2 Point Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under
Nick Cothrel is the publisher of Charger Report. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel for more Chargers coverage.