The Los Angeles Chargers have their backs to the wall in Week 11 in Mexico.
At 4-6, the team can’t afford many more losses if a trip to the playoffs is in its future, but they’ll face one of the league’s most high-powered offenses this Monday night. The Kansas City Chiefs also have a fully healthy Patrick Mahomes, who is close to unstoppable when at his best.
But as the Tennessee Titans showed just last week, the Chiefs can be beaten even when Mahomes throws for over 400 yards and multiple touchdowns.
That’s likely going to be the case almost every week. Mahomes and the Kansas City offense are going to pile up the yardage and light up the scoreboard. The Chargers almost have to accept that. But because the Chiefs’ defense is so bad, the Chargers can fight fire with fire.
The way the Titans were able to obtain a win over the Chiefs last week was not ideal and was pretty much a fluke. However, the Chargers can look at the blueprints provided by both the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans earlier this season.
Melvin Gordon would become the biggest factor in Monday night’s game as the Chargers will need to be able to run the ball and run it often in order to keep Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and the rest of that Chiefs offense on the sidelines.
That is something that Chargers should be able to do.
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Against the Oakland Raiders last week, Gordon averaged 4.9 yards per carry while rushing for 108 yards in the game. For whatever reason, the Chargers didn’t rely on it as much as they should have.
That must change against Kansas City.
The Colts ran the ball a staggering 45 times in their win over the Chiefs and possessed the ball for 37:15. The Texans called 41 run plays and held the ball for nearly 40 minutes.
That is a draining, frustrating way to lose and the Chargers are equipped to beat the Chiefs the same way. With Gordon leading the rushing attack and leaving Philip Rivers with some short third downs to convert, the team can move the chains and keep the Chiefs off the field.
The Chiefs are absolutely terrible against the run. Only the Cincinnati Bengals give up more yards on the ground than the Chiefs. Kansas City is allowing 148 yards per game on the ground (they actually rank No. 8 in the league against the pass).
It should be a clear gameplan for the Chargers in this one. Get Gordon going and keep pounding him right at the Chiefs’ porous run defense. Gordon is hitting his stride at the right time and it’s unclear how much of a future the Chargers have left in Gordon, so they might as well get every single thing they can now.