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Four Takeaways From the Chiefs' 27-24 Win Over the Chargers

Here are four takeaways from the Chiefs' second game of the 2022 regular season.

The Kansas City Chiefs' Week 2 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers had a ton of hype surrounding it in the days leading up to the game, and it got off to an unexpected start. The first half, after all, featured a ton of mistakes by both teams and just 17 combined points scored. 

Things still seemed odd coming out of the halftime break, although the action began to heat up towards the end of the third quarter. In the end, the Chiefs did exactly what they needed to do in order to start the 2022 season off with a 2-0 record. It wasn't pretty, but Kansas City won by a final score of 27-24. 

Here are four takeaways from Thursday's game.

1. The first half was ugly for both sides

So many elements of the first half can be picked apart for both the Chiefs and Chargers. The Chiefs' play-calling, at best, was suspect. The Chargers and head coach Brandon Staley, known for being one of the more aggressive fourth-down teams in the league, unexpectedly backed down on multiple occasions. Neither team executed at a high level. Just about everyone anticipated a high-flying, high-scoring first half and instead was met with struggles with consistency, decision-making and putting the ball in the end zone. In all, was a first 30 minutes to forget for two clubs that should be battling it out for AFC West supremacy throughout the year.

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2. Kansas City had its hands full against Mike Williams

Speaking of an ugly first half, cornerback Rashad Fenton struggled immensely to slow down Mike Williams early on. As previously noted on Arrowhead Report, Williams has enjoyed tremendous success as of late against the Chiefs. Fenton's inability to keep up in coverage led to multiple catches and a very costly defensive penalty near the goal line. Rookie Jaylen Watson also had trouble containing Williams, who went over 100 yards and had a touchdown in the game. The Chiefs' defensive scheme doesn't always bode well against big-bodied weapons or offenses that are willing to throw outside the numbers (see: Bengals, Cincinnati), and this was another example of that. Once Keenan Allen rejoins the fold for Week 11's rematch between these two teams, the Chiefs' secondary will look to get off to a better start. 

3. The Watsons stepped up in a big way

Once Mecole Hardman briefly exited the game in the third quarter due to an apparent left ankle or foot injury, the Chiefs needed someone else to step up and help connect with quarterback Patrick Mahomes. That player turned out to be wide receiver Justin Watson, who hauled in an alien-like throw from Mahomes deep down the field for a 41-yard touchdown. 

On defense, the aforementioned (Jaylen) Watson picked off a Justin Herbert pass in the fourth quarter and ran it all the way back for a touchdown. That's 14 points created by players who weren't supposed to play major roles heading into the season. In a game that had weird vibes surrounding it all night, Kansas City had to be thrilled with whatever help it could get. (Chris Jones very well could have gotten a section of his own, but alas, this is limited to four.)

4. The Chiefs are in the driver's seat in the AFC West

Heading into the 2022 campaign, a lot was made of how difficult the Chiefs' schedule was to start the year and how difficult it would be to establish a rhythm early on with so many new faces on the team. While the schedule remains brutal and Week 2 featured everything but a rhythm, securing a 2-0 start to the season and capping that off with a win over a divisional opponent is huge. The Chiefs' grit they displayed against the Chargers will help them all season long and potentially into the playoffs, and they got off to a great start en route to securing sole possession of first place in the AFC West. That's worth noting, especially considering the team now has 10 days until its next game.