Preview: Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs


As we enter Week 3, the ‘So Close’ Chargers find themselves at 0-2 after dropping two very close games. What does Week 3 have in store for the Chargers? Will it be another tight game that comes down to the final minutes? Or will one of these two teams clearly separate themselves from the other?

To start off, let’s take a look at where each team ranks in the league:

Scoring Offense: Chargers 18th / Chiefs 2nd Total Offense: Chargers 20th / Chiefs 2nd Passing Offense: Chargers 9th / Chiefs 5th Rushing Offense: Chargers 31st / Chiefs 2nd

Scoring Defense: Chargers 17th / Chiefs 25th Total Defense: Chargers 21th / Chiefs 29th Passing Defense: Chargers 14th / Chiefs 27th Rushing Defense: Chargers 26th / Chiefs 20th

While the Chiefs have done great on offense, they appear to be struggling on the defensive side of the ball. The Chargers’ offensive numbers reveal that they have become a very one-dimensional team.

What to expect when the Chiefs are on offense: Expect the Chiefs to take their second-ranked rushing game and run directly at the Chargers’ 26th-ranked rushing defense. When the Chiefs need to throw the ball, look for Alex Smith and Travis Kelce to expose the Chargers’ linebackers who have been poor in pass coverage through the first two games.

Expect Philip Rivers to throw the ball. The Chargers all but abandoned the running game after one series last week and would be wise to do so again this week. The offensive line has shown no ability to run block this year and I would not expect that to change this week. Rivers should attack KC’s 27th-ranked pass defense.

What to expect when the Chiefs are on defense: Expect the Chiefs to come after Rivers. With the Chargers’ running game struggling, Justin Houston and Chris Jones should be able to pin their ears back and attack the quarterback. If the offensive line struggles to pick up the pass rush, this could be a long day.

What to expect when the Chargers are on defense: The Chargers’ defensive line and cornerbacks have played well this season and expect that to continue. The Chargers’ linebackers and safeties need to find a way to play faster. They need to get to the running lanes faster and do a better job in coverage. However, I don’t think that will happen. Expect the linebackers and safeties to be exposed in this game.

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How the Chiefs will win:  The Chiefs may surrender a good deal of points to this Chargers’ offense, but the Chargers will struggle to stop the Chiefs’ running game. Smith and Kelce will both have big days as they exploit the soft center of the Chargers’ defense. Chiefs 34, Chargers 23. (On a side note, Younghoe Koo goes 3-for-3 on FGs hitting from 39, 41 and 49.)

How the Chargers will win: The Chargers’ offense plays its best game of the year by putting Felipe Rios on display. They abandon any hope of a run game and put on a display a new offense known as the Shoot and Shoot. Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams and Melvin Gordon each have seven-plus receptions. Williams and Allen each have over 100 yards receiving. Chargers 35, Chiefs 34.