The Chiefs host the Chargers tonight in what could potentially be one of the better games of the season. Not only will the contest feature two of the best young quarterbacks in the league, it’s also a divisional game with about as much on the line as you could have in Week 2. As we know, the AFC West should be a historically good division this year, and every win against another divisional team will be of utmost importance. The Chiefs and Chargers both won their week one games and will now play tonight for the early division lead as well as bragging rights for the time being. Of course, a lot can change over an NFL season, but both teams will be hard to catch if given a multi-game lead.
Keys to the Game
After a fantastic offensive performance in Arizona, the Chiefs should have a lot of confidence coming into tonight’s home opener. Unfortunately, it’s hard to expect the same type of success against a defence with the likes of Khalil Mack, Joey Bosa and Derwin James. Mahomes will need to play well under the pressure of Mack and Bosa, because it’s almost a guarantee that they’ll be getting through to him from time to time. One of the things that the Chiefs can and should be trying to repeat from last week is the spreading of the ball on offence. Six Kansas City receivers had at least three catches last week, and if they can make that happen again, the pass game will be tough to stop.
For the Chargers, dealing with the home crowd may be one of the bigger problems of the night. Arrowhead Stadium always gets loud, but it’ll be especially rowdy for the season opener against a competitive division rival like Los Angeles. As long as they can weather the early storm and stay with the Chiefs, it should be a very close game throughout. Another problem that Herbert will have to deal with is the loss of WR Keenan Allen. Other pass catchers such as Mike Williams and Gerald Everett will need to step up in his absence in order to keep this offence moving on pace with Kansas City’s. Finally, the defence will have to keep Patrick Mahomes in check. Getting consistent pressure and making sure that Mahomes is never comfortable in the pocket will go a long way in slowing down that Chiefs offence.
Picks and Props
We’ll take Kansas City to win a close, high-scoring affair. The loss of Keenan Allen will be a large factor for Los Angeles and may just be the thing that keeps them from hanging in with the Chiefs. There’s also the home-field advantage, which will certainly come into play tonight at Arrowhead.
Juju Smith Schuster – Over 58.5 YARDS
Justin Herbert – Over 1.5 TD PASSES
Travis Kelce – Over 6.5 RECS