We’re 1-0, Chiefs Kingdom! How’s it feel?
The league has started up nicely with minimal hiccups, and Patrick Mahomes & Co. gave us the pop we needed to get back into football.
But now, we move onto our next challenge: the Los Angeles Chargers.
Guided by the safe-yet-underwhelming Tyrod Taylor, Los Angeles look like a team the Chiefs should make quick work of. That said, they do have key match-ups, yet again, for Kansas City to be concerned about.
We don’t support trap games in this household, so let’s roll into the tape!
Joey Bosa & Melvin Ingram vs. Mitchell Schwartz & Eric Fisher
Yet again, we have a key battle in the trenches, with arguably better pass-rushers coming from the opposite side. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram have been one of the best pass-rushing duos since Bosa entered the league. The two of them have consistently registered high sack totals each year, with 44 combined sacks between them since 2017. Luckily, Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz both held their own in the season opener, with only one sack allowed against the Houston Texans. They’ll need to keep the pocket clean for Patrick Mahomes this go-around to give him and his WRs enough time to make plays against the Chargers secondary.
Chiefs WRs vs. Chargers CBs
Outside of the Baltimore Ravens, the Chargers have arguably the best CB unit in the league. Headlined by Casey Hayward, Jr., Desmond King, and former Bronco Chris Harris, Jr, all three are highly talented, which will prove to be a challenge against the Kansas City receiving corps. While last week was a close game against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Chargers still had an excellent outing, allowing no passing touchdowns. While the Kansas City passing attack is leaps-and-bounds ahead of Cincinnati, the trio in LA shouldn’t be discounted. Expect them to give Tyreek Hill & Co. a hard time, which will open up passing lanes in the middle of the field for Travis Kelce and Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Chris Jones vs. Trai Turner
Chris Jones had a hell of a game against the leaky Texans O-line, with four total tackles and 1.5 sacks. He’ll look to build upon that performance against new Chargers acquisition Trai Turner. Now, while Turner is no Marshal Yanda, he certainly can hold his own against a stout front. He gave up zero sacks and kept a clean interior for Tyrod Taylor against the likes of D.J. Reader and Geno Atkins. Jones won’t have as easy a time against the interior of the Chargers’ line, but he’ll still look to disrupt the game from the inside-out. I expect Turner to do well, but look for Jones to end with at least one sack on the stat sheet.
L’Jarius Sneed vs. Chargers WRs
Last week, I expressed concern over the fact that rookie L’Jarius Sneed was starting against, what seemed to be, a viable receiving corps. Sneed responded with an outstanding outing against Houston, finishing the day with an interception and two defended passes, while only allowing two catches on seven targets, finishing with a 0.0 passer rating when targeted. Now, going up against the likes of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams will certainly be a challenge for the rookie, but if Sneed can build upon his previous performance and stack games, Kansas City might just have another weapon in a secondary that ranked top-five last year.
This team certainly has different strengths and weaknesses than Houston, and with it being a divisional game I expect it to be much closer. However, I still believe the Kansas City Chiefs do enough to pull out a win against the Los Angeles Chargers, and advance to 2-0 on the young season.
Final score: 27-24, Kansas City.
(Featured Image Credit: Chiefs.com)