Kansas City Chiefs, Week 15
These two AFC West foes will face off in Week 1 at the StubHub Center for the first of two meetings. However, the more challenging game will come on December 13 in Kansas City, and there are three major reasons why:
Second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes III will have over 10 games of experience, he will have wicked-fast talent surrounding him, and Arrowhead Stadium has been a house of horrors for the Chargers.
All the talk surrounding the Chiefs has circled in on Mahomes, who is entering his first full season as a starting NFL quarterback. His lone regular season appearance came in Week 17 last year against the Denver Broncos, where he went 22-of-35 for 284 yards and an interception.
Will their be bumps in the road for Mahomes early on? It’s quite likely. But by the time Week 15 rolls around, the Texas Tech-alumni will have a solid amount of NFL-level playing experience. Furthermore, he will have over three months to develop chemistry with his top playmakers.
Running back Kareem Hunt, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce will be one of the NFL’s most lethal offensive trios, similar to 2017.
Hunt was a dynamo in his rookie season by leading the NFL in rushing with 1,327 yards. He also recorded 455 receiving yards off 53 catches.
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Hill and Kelce were a strong one-two punch through the air last year. The two-time Pro Bowl wideout racked up 1,183 yards and seven touchdowns off of 75 catches. Kelce continued proving he is a top-flight tight end, as he recorded 83 receptions and hauled in eight scores.
Kansas City’s defense does not appear to be as vaunted as years past, especially with the loss of star cornerback Peters. However, the Chiefs will still have the ultra-loud environment of Arrowhead Stadium behind, which is something that has haunted the Chargers for years.
Since 2010, the Bolts have gone 2-5 at Arrowhead Stadium, which included a 30-13 beating they suffered last season on December 16 that ultimately took L.A. out of the AFC West title hunt. December 2014 and 2015 saw Kansas City defeat the Chargers in front of the Chiefs Kingdom.
Given that this game will be on a Thursday night, Kansas City’s raucos fan base will have all day to build up both their excitement for the game and the power in their vocal cords.
And that could make for one helacious night for the Chargers.
Honorable Mentions: Tennessee Titans (Week 7, London, Eng.), Baltimore Ravens (Week 16, Home).