On game-winning touchdown, Chargers QB Justin Herbert changed the play from a run

Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs
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As the Chargers prepared for a first and goal play from the Kansas City four with 36 seconds to play, the Chargers wanted to milk the clock, in order to limit the time that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes would have to win the game.

The play call, then, was aimed at doing that. Quarterback Justin Herbert changed it.

Receiver Mike Williams, who caught the game-winning touchdown pass, explained how things unfolded via phone after the 30-24 victory.

“It was actually a running play and Coach [Brandon Staley] wanted to run the ball to run the time down so they didn’t get ball back but Justin looked at me and said, ‘Be ready for the fade,'” Williams said. “I just ran a route fade and he put the ball where it should be and I made the play on it.”

It worked, even though the missed extra point left the door open for a potential victory by the Chiefs. Instead, the Chargers escaped with their first win at Arrowhead Stadium since 2018. Like that game, Williams had seven catches and two touchdowns.

The final drive by the Chargers stayed alive because L.A. opted to go for it on fourth and four and then, after a penalty, on fourth and nine. Williams wasn’t surprised by the decision to not try what would have been a game-tying field goal. Coach Brandon Staley had prepared them for that possibility.

“We may have to go for it fourth down because of the team, because of the firepower they have,” Williams said, explaining the message from Staley. “We got to just believe what we do, control what we can control, believe in the people that we have in the huddle and that’s what he believed in.”

The Chargers justified his belief on Sunday. Although the win won’t put the Chargers in first place in the AFC West, it dumped the Chiefs into the basement of the division.

4 responses to “On game-winning touchdown, Chargers QB Justin Herbert changed the play from a run

  1. Stupid play, you kill the clock and guaranty the win. Wonder if the us would’ve come to light had KC went 75 yards, scored and made their XP to win it?

    That said, good win SD. The west looks like it has 4 teams that could make big playoff runs.

  2. @springfield the kicker missed the extra point after the touchdown. I don’t think anyone on that team trusts the kicker to make a field goal for the win. Better to go for the TD in that case.

  3. I would agree but a 35 yard XP is a little different than a 20 yard kick. That said, it’s like of like KC expecting their defense to win the game. You’d think they could occasionally do it, but it’s not likely. Hate my Chiefs lost but I like Herbert. Anytime a team that’s been bad for a while comes to have a good season is good for football, except for the raiders…

  4. The Chargers escaped with a win? Really? The game i was watching the Chargers contolled the entire second half. The D forced Mahomes into ill advised decisions leading to a critical interception.

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