We are starting the 2018-19 season right against the Kansas City Chiefs at the StubHub Center. This division rivalry might as well determine who will win the AFC West. Can the Los Angeles Chargers end the losing streak and defeat the Chiefs?
The Chargers’ roster is loaded with talent and potential from top to bottom. It seems like if everything goes the right way this team can be unstoppable, but for the last couple of years we have had a kryptonite, the Kansas City Chiefs. They have defeated the Chargers in the last eight meetings. So for the better part of half a decade, Andy Reid has had the Bolts’ number. Hopefully, this coming Sunday, that will all come to an end and here’s how this Chargers team can turn it around.
Pressure on Patty
The most obvious key point to defeating the Chiefs is to put pressure on their brand new, inexperienceD quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. He started one game with the Chiefs and that was because Reid decided to rest his starters to preserve their health for the playoffs.
Mahomes had a knack to make something out of nothing in college, but this is a whole new level of play and the defense needs to make him uncomfortable.
Reid is going to try to do his best to get the ball out of Mahomes’ hands fast so he doesn’t have to deal with the dangerous edge-rushing duo of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram and that’s not even adding the rookie pass-rusher that was absolutely phenomenal in preseason, Uchenna Nwosu.
The Chargers’ pressure is going to have to come from somewhere else and this is where I highlight Darius Philon. Philon might be the end-all-be-all to winning this game, and I’ll explain a little later.
For right now, Philon has to be a disruptive 3-tech and get in the face of Mahomes to do one or two things; sack the quarterback or make him scramble to the outside where Bosa or Ingram can clean him up.
Another way the Chargers can pack on the pressure is to play bump-and-run with the Chiefs’ starting receivers.
Do not give Mahomes an easy outlet. The Chargers’ defensive backs are going to have to be like glue, which may be difficult with maybe the fastest receiver in the game inTyreek Hill on the other side.
But if Mahomes has nowhere to go with the ball, he either has to make a bad decision which might lead to turnover or hold onto the ball as the pocket closes around him which will lead to a sack.
Either way, the longer it takes for Mahomes to throw the ball, the more it favors the Chargers. Getting to and in Mahomes’ head is the best strategy to win this game, but what if they don’t rely heavily on Mahomes?