Two AFC West hopefuls are getting an early-season gut check, as the Chiefs host the Chargers on the inaugural (regular season) Amazon Prime “Thursday Night Football” broadcast.
The Chargers are coming off a revenge game against the Las Vegas Raiders, having beaten them 24-19 behind a sterling day from Justin Herbert, who threw for three touchdowns on 26 of 34 passing for 279 yards.
Los Angeles, however, has its work cut out for it as the Chiefs remain the team to beat in the division. Kansas City throttled the Cardinals Sunday, winning 44-21 behind a characteristically outstanding day from Mahomes. The Chiefs will look to humble the Chargers, who have aggressively been looking to dethrone the six-time reigning AFC West champs.
Khalil Mack has already made waves to that end, logging three sacks in his debut. The Chargers may be shorthanded, however, with Keenan Allen looking doubtful to play. The Chiefs managed to thrive without Tyreek Hill in play, with Travis Kelce logging 121 yards and Mahomes hitting nine different receivers.
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The pressure is on in this early-season matchup that could have ramifications down the road, The Sporting News is tracking it all live.
Chargers vs. Chiefs score
Chargers vs. Chiefs updates, highlights from “Thursday Night Football”
(All times Eastern)
9:32 p.m. — Overall a pretty clean half of football. Chargers keep the lead with scores on their first two drives, and Justin Herbert is a modest 12 of 17 for 125 yards and a touchdown. Mahomes, meanwhile, is 12 of 14 for 98 yards and a TD.
Both teams are pushing for TOP today, and are trying to establish the running game. Both defenses, however, have been stout thus far. We’ll have to see what adjustments are made in the second half, and if both teams try to get more aggressive going downfield.
9:31 p.m. — Chargers take a knee, and we go to the half with it being Chargers 10, Chiefs 7.
9:30 p.m. — Townsend BOOMS a punt down to the Chargers 8-yard line. One has to think the Chargers will be happy to take it to the half with the lead on the other side of the break.
9:29 p.m. — The Chiefs still have three timeouts, but both teams seem ready to take this game to the half for different reasons. The Chiefs will be forced to punt again with 22 seconds on the clock, and they’re frustrated with the officials right now.
9:28 p.m. — Mahomes comes up limping after throwing a ball away on first down, and to make matters worse the Chiefs get hit with holding as Wylie takes down Joey Bosa. It’ll be first down again for the Chiefs, but they lose precious time.
9:23 p.m. — The Chargers roll out on third-and-1, but despite Herbert’s best efforts he goes down two yards short and the Chargers line up to punt. Both teams seem content to take this game down to the half. Chargers down the punt at the 14-yard line, and the Chiefs will have 53 seconds and all three timeouts.
9:20 p.m. — We hit the two-minute warning, as the Chargers look to extend their lead before the half. They’ll have the ball at the Kansas City 47-yard line.
9:19 p.m. — Palmer is getting involved, with two receptions in three plays. First it was a rollout, then it was an out route into space. Chargers are in their four-minute offense with three minutes in the half.
9:14 p.m. — On two straight run plays, the Chargers completely stack up the Chiefs to force a fourth and short. Big stop, and the Chiefs punt down to the Chargers 10 where Carter steps out of a tackle and gets to his own 23.
9:11 p.m. — Mahomes finds Kelce over the middle of the field, and Kelce steps out of a tackle from JC Jackson to get a nine-yard gain and a first down for the Chiefs. First-and-10 from the 20, and Mahomes hits Hardman on a zag route for a gain of eight.
9:09 p.m. — These offenses are clearly run very differently. Where Mahomes is heavily reliant on timing-based routes (unless he’s doing something ridiculous like his touchdown scramble and pitch to McKinnon), Herbert and the Chargers rely a lot on the physicality of their receivers. Against these relatively small Chiefs corners, that’s been an early problem.
9:07 p.m. — Chargers are slowing down the pace here, going with a rare run-run-pass sequence. After eight yards from Ekeler on two straight four-yard carries, Herbert misses Palmer to force a Chargers punt. Scott kicks too Skyy Moore, who calls a fair catch at the eight.
9:05 p.m. — Mike Williams again makes a great catch as he climbs the ladder to snap a ball out of a curl route. He just looks too big for these Chiefs corners as Ekeler rushes for the first down.
9:04 p.m. — DeAndre Carter catches a huge break, as he goes down on the kickoff return and the ball pops out. Carter was clearly down, and the Chargers will start from their 33.
8:58 p.m. — Mahomes finds Kelce after drawing Bosa offside, and then on first-and-10 from the 11 makes an INCREDIBLE play rolling out to score. He sidearms it to Jerrick McKinley to get the Chiefs on the board as Mahomes deked like he was running multiple times. Chargers 10, Chiefs 7 in the second.
— NFL (@NFL) September 16, 2022
8:56 p.m. — The Chargers are getting a lot of pressure on Mahomes, but an interception is wiped out by illegal contact to bring the Chiefs up to the Chargers 34. It’ll be third-and-4 for the Chiefs from the Chargers 28.
8:54 p.m. — Chiefs getting a bit more aggressive offensively, with Mahomes completing a 30-yard pass to Mecole Hardman. Andy Reid and Mahomes want to answer quickly, particularly with how good the Chargers offense has looked.
— NFL (@NFL) September 16, 2022
8:52 p.m. — Another Chargers kick goes through the end zone, and the Chiefs will start from the 25 once again.
8:50 p.m. — Chargers go with the tried and true play action bootleg to punch it into the end zone to open the second quarter. Zander Horvath scores for the second straight week. Chargers 10, Chiefs 0.
— NFL (@NFL) September 16, 2022
8:47 p.m. — Sony Michel gets stacked up at the goal line, and that will end the first quarter. Chargers will have second-and-goal from the 1-yard line to open the second.
8:44 p.m. — Williams is making his presence felt early. Herbert airs it out to Williams on second down, and Rashad Felton gets called for holding and pass interference on the play. None of it mattered as Williams came down with it, and the Chargers have first-and-goal from the 1.
— NFL (@NFL) September 16, 2022
8:43 p.m. — On fourth down, the Chargers bring out the offense and convert on fourth-and-inches. Also some chippiness from Sneed toward Williams on the outside as we get within two minutes in the first.
8:40 p.m. — Chargers make a… choice on second-and-2. They throw a swing to Carter which he slings across the field to Ekeler, who then gets tackled for a loss of four. Simply took too long. Mike Williams, makes a catch on third down and initial look is that it will be fourth-and-short. Potential decision time upcoming for Brandon Staley.
8:37 p.m. — Derwin James blows up the screen play on third down to set up fourth and long after a quick three-and-out for the Chiefs. DeAndre Carter brings the punt up to the Chargers 42.
8:35 p.m. — The Chiefs are looking to attack the Chargers run defense early. Los Angeles was 30th in the NFL last year against the run. However, they ball behind the sticks and empty the backfield, and Chargers blitz gets to Mahomes for a sack to set up third-and-16.
8:31 p.m. — Dustin Hopkins buries the 31-yarder to give the Chargers points on their opening drive. Chargers 3, Chiefs 0 with six minutes in the first quarter.
8:30 p.m. — Chargers do a bit too much on a screen play on second-and-10. Although LA had decent blocking outside, Willie Gay read it and tackled Austin Ekelber to make it third-and-13. On third down, Gerald Everett makes it fourth-and-2 on a checkdown throw from Herbert. The field goal unit comes out in response.
8:29 p.m. — Naturally, after that, Palmer gets two straight targets. Although they both fall incomplete, Rashad Fenton gets hit with interference to give the Chargers a first down.
8:27 p.m. — Herbert finds DeAndre Carter against zone coverage to convert on third down. Good work by the young receiver to find space as he gets an opportunity with Keenan Allen out. Still no calls for Joshua Palmer yet.
8:25 p.m. — Mike Wiliams gets the first two targets from Justin Herbert, and Los Angeles is already up toward midfield on two plays. Austin Ekeler takes them over the 50 to set up third-and-3.
8:21 p.m. — Justin Herbert and the Chargers will get the ball at the 20 after a touchback on the punt.
8:20 p.m. — After a two-yard completion to Burton, Mahomes hits Travis Kelce on a naked bootleg to set up third and short. The Chiefs, however, get a bit cute on third down and give it to Mecole Hardman on an end around, as Joey Bosa manhandled Travis Kelce. Chiefs are going to punt on fourth-and-6 from the Chargers 48.
8:18 p.m. — Chiefs go old school on third down! The give to fullback Michael Burton picks up about six for the first down. On the ensuing play, they hit Edwards-Helaire on a screen to get up past the marker again. Good-looking drive early and the Chiefs are at midfield.
8:18 p.m. — The Chiefs are going to the ground early, starting with a pair of runs to Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Third-and-1 upcoming for KC.
8:17 p.m. — The Chargers kick off to the Chiefs to start the game, and it opens with a touchback.
8:15 p.m. — As we get ready for kickoff, a friendly reminder: This game can only be found on Amazon Prime! It is not being broadcast on TV. Dwayne Bowe bangs the drum to get the Chiefs rolling.
8:05 p.m. — Welcome to “Thursday Night Football” as two 1-0 AFC West teams collide. As the Chargers exit the tunnel, they’re getting the expected reaction from the Arrowhead crowd. A lot of boos rain down on Los Angeles. Kansas City coming out next.
What time is the NFL game tonight?
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- Date: Thursday, Sept. 15
- Time: 8:15 p.m. ET | 7:15 CT | 5:15 p.m. PT
The Chargers and Chiefs will kick off at 8:15 p.m. ET, 7:15 p.m. local time. The game will be played at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
Where to watch Chargers vs. Chiefs?
- Live stream: Amazon Prime
Chargers vs. Chiefs will air exclusively on Amazon Prime after the company bought “Thursday Night Football” for a massive sum.
Why is Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime?
Starting in 2022 and running for at least the next 11 years, “Thursday Night Football” contests will be carried exclusively on streaming giant Amazon Prime Video.
Before the start of the 2017 NFL season, Amazon acquired non-exclusive streaming rights for several “Thursday Night Football” games during the year. It maintained those streaming rights through the 2021 season, allowing viewers to also watch games on the live streaming platform Twitch.
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In December 2020, The New York Post reported Amazon had become the frontrunner to snag the exclusive rights to carry games on Thursday night. In the post, Andrew Marchand reported TV networks had told the NFL that Thursday was a less-than-desirable night. The Disney/ESPN/ABC group had been discussed as a possible contender for Thursday, as was Apple.
On March 3, 2021, The Wall Street Journal reported Amazon was the likeliest home for “Thursday Night Football” games, with a deal likely to be done by the next week. It reported Amazon had been paying between $75 and $100 million.
The NFL announced on March 18, 2021 its latest slate of broadcast deals, noting that Amazon Prime Video would be the exclusive home of “Thursday Night Football” starting in 2023 through 2033. It was reported by Decider that Amazon’s deal with the NFL will pay the league $1 billion per year through the 2033 season. The deal comes with an increase from 11 “Thursday Night Football” games to 15.
Thursday Night Football Broadcast Team on Amazon Prime
Amazon and the NFL went out and landed two well-known announcers for the new Amazon Prime broadcast, bringing in the legendary play-by-play specialist, Al Michaels, and ESPN veteran analyst, Kirk Herbstreit.
Michaels joins “Thursday Night Football” after spending the last 16 years at NBC, working alongside Cris Collinsworth on the “Sunday Night Football” broadcast.
Herbstreit has been a college football analyst at ESPN since 1996, known for his presence on ESPN’s “College GameDay” and ABC’s “Saturday Night Football.”
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Kaylee Hartung will be joining Amazon as its “Thursday Night Football” sideline reporter. She is a veteran journalist who has experience both as a sideline reporter and a traditional news reporter. She has worked at CBS News, ESPN, CNN and ABC.
Charissa Thompson will anchor the star-studded lineup as the host of the pregame, postgame and halftime coverage of “Thursday Night Football.” In addition to her work with Amazon, Thompson will retain her job as a host for “Fox NFL Kickoff” during Fox’s NFL Sundays.
While not formally retired, Richard Sherman, the five-time All-Pro cornerback appears to be focusing on the next phase of his career as he joins Amazon’s studio crew less than a year after suiting up in five games for the Buccaneers.
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Over the course of his 11-year career, Sherman made a name for himself with his intensity between the lines and personality outside of the lines. That intensity and personality are sure to shine as he makes his formal television debut.
After a one-year hiatus from broadcasting, Tony Gonzalez, the Hall of Fame tight end is back on the airwaves as part of Amazon’s studio crew.
Gonzalez, who joined CBS’s NFL pregame show “NFL Today” immediately after retiring in 2013, spent four seasons with the network before joining Fox’s NFL pregame show in 2017, where he would work another four seasons before stepping away prior to the 2021 season to pursue acting roles.
How about some studio Fitzmagic?
Months after officially retiring from the game, Fitzpatrick brings 17 years of experience as an NFL quarterback to the studio. Similar to Sherman, this is an immediate field-to-booth transition for Fitzpatrick, who won the hearts of fans with his big moments — and bigger beard — as a player.
Fitzpatrick described the opportunity as “the right fit.”
Jacob Camenker, Gilbert McGregor and Edward Sutelan contributed to this story.