Chiefs cornerback Jaylen Watson was not one of the marquee names in Thursday night’s game, but he wound up coming up with the marquee play of the evening.
Watson picked off Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert on the Chiefs’ 1-yard-line in the fourth quarter and returned the ball 99 yards for the go-ahead score in a 27-24 Chiefs victory. Watson was a seventh-round pick this year and was playing in place of injured first-rounder Trent McDuffie, which left him feeling pretty sure that the Chargers were going to be looking his way on Thursday night.
Watson was right and he gave up some plays, but the rookie bided his time and jumped a throw that would never make it to veteran tight end Gerald Everett.
“I woke up knowing I was going to get a pick,” Watson said, via Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. “I just knew being a seventh-rounder and getting my first start, I was going to get tested a lot. I just felt I was going to get one today.”
NFL Research reports that Watson’s touchdown was the longest go-ahead score in the fourth quarter by a rookie in NFL history. It was a monumental play on Thursday night and could wind up a monumental one in the AFC West race as well.