Jaylen Watson

Thursday night’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers came down to the wire with a crucial 99-yard pick-six from Chiefs rookie cornerback Jaylen Watson ultimately proving to be the game-changing play. The rookie defensive back showed incredible instincts on the play and great athleticism on the return, but there might be a hidden reason why the interception took place.

If you look closely at the replay of Sunday night’s game, you can see that just before the crucial pick-six, Chargers tight end Gerald Everett is trying to substitute himself out of the game and is presumably very winded from the previous two plays.

Everett had just caught back-to-back passes on the Chargers’ last two plays, giving the team gains of seven and 26 yards, and he appeared to be absolutely gassed as a result.

Despite Everett’s efforts, he was unable to get off the field as the Chargers were in their hurry-up offense. As a result, when the ball was thrown in his direction, he did not give much effort at all to catch it or knock it down, and he was unable to make a tackle on Watson, allowing him to run 99 yards for a touchdown.

If Watson were able to substitute himself out before the play, there’s a chance Justin Herbert never throws that interception. At the very least, another player likely would have been able to make an immediate tackle. Either way, it could have swung the game.

[Ari Meirov]