After starting the season 0-4, the Los Angeles Chargers find themselves 7-6 and tied for first place in the AFC West with Kansas City. The Chargers travel to Arrowhead Stadium Saturday to face the Chiefs on prime time in a battle for first.
Oh how the tables have turned!
The Chargers were dead in the water. Like Frank Castle dead. Meanwhile, the Chiefs were heavy favorites to clinch the division just five weeks into the regular season.
Fast forward to December, the Bolts, like Frank Castle, are alive and on the verge of winning their first division title since 2009. Meanwhile, the Chiefs, who started 5-0, lost six of their last eight games. Both teams are tied for first atop the AFC West with three games remaining.
The Chargers look good. Like really good. They’re hotter than the Chili Peppers at the moment. Philip Rivers and Co. are putting up a ton of points, and a Joey Bosa-led defense is suffocating opposing teams’ offenses. I mean, I can’t remember the last time the Chargers benched their starters because they were winning by so much. This feeling, it’s surreal. The team is having fun; the fans are having fun watching them have fun.
That said, it’s time to get real. Like really real. The Chargers face the Chiefs in what is the biggest game of the season for both teams. The winner of this game will likely win the division. The loser? They’ll still have a shot at the playoffs, but they won’t control their own destiny.
The Chiefs already beat the Chargers earlier this year. It was the Chargers’ only loss by more than one score (24-10). It was a game in which Rivers tossed a season-high three interceptions. Rookie running back Kareem Hunt’s 69-yard touchdown with two minutes left in the fourth quarter ultimately sealed that one.
But the Chargers are a different team with a different vibe. And so are the Chiefs. One is on top of the world, playing aggressive, mistake-free football while the other is trying to figure out its identity. Can you guess which is which?
We haven’t had much meaningful December football as of late. This game against the Chiefs means everything–and everybody will be watching. The Chiefs may be struggling on both sides of the ball, but don’t take this team lightly. They have playmakers in Hunt, receiver Tyreek Hill, linebacker Justin Houston and cornerback Marcus Peters. The Chiefs have had the Bolts’ number, too, winning their last seven games against them. The last time the Chargers won in Kansas City was in 2013, which also marks the last time they made the playoffs.
If the Chargers do this thing, it could be the biggest comeback story since Shane Falco rallied his Sentinels to a playoff berth in The Replacements.