Justin Herbert nearly defeated Patrick Mahomes in his NFL debut.
Relax, we said nearly.
The Chargers’ first-round draft pick was a last-minute injury replacement for Tyrod Taylor at quarterback, but Mahomes and the reigning Super Bowl champions barely pulled out a 23-20 overtime win in Los Angeles.
Harrison Butker nailed a game-tying field goal at the end of regulation and then a 58-yarder with 1:55 remaining in OT following a false start by the Chiefs’ offensive line.
Mahomes’ 54-yard TD pass to Tyreek Hill had forged a 17-17 tie with 12:48 remaining in regulatuon, but Herbert led Los Angeles on a 17-play, 10:21 drive for a 23-yard field goal by Michael Badgley with 2:27 to go.
Of course, Mahomes (302 passing yards) twice moved the Chiefs (2-0) down the field for the tying and winning kicks by Butker, the latter coming after the Chargers punted on the first drive of the extra session.
Herbert (311 yards) became the first quarterback with a passing touchdown and a rushing score in the first half of his NFL debut since the Giants’ Bob Clatterbuck in 1954.