The LA Chargers’ road to the playoffs goes through the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Kansas City Chiefs are the best team in the AFC West and that cannot be refuted. As exciting as the LA Chargers are heading into the 2020 season, we have to give credit where credit is due.
The Chiefs are the defending Super Bowl Champions and in my AFC West standings prediction, I pegged them with a 13-3 record in the 2020 season and first place (yet again) in the AFC West.
We all know how good the Chiefs were last season but not every Charger fan is keeping up with what the Chiefs have done in the offseason. Using an idea that was inspired by our FanSided sister site, Horseshoe Heroes, here is our analysis of how the Chiefs’ offseason faired.
LA Chargers rival offseason analysis — Kansas City Chiefs:
- Ricky Seals-Jones
The Chiefs got a new backup tight end to play behind Travis Kelce in Ricky Seals-Jones. Seals-Jones is nothing out of this world but he will be another target in two-tight end formations as well as the red zone. More targets for the Chiefs is a bad thing.
- Taco Charlton
Taco Charlton’s NFL career has not panned out as many expected it would after he was selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft but he still has raw talent at defensive end. He had five sacks last season and as a rotational player, he could do some damage and should not be overlooked.
- Kendall Fuller
Kendall Fuller got a big contract from the Washington Redskins that was probably a bit overpriced as he did not see the field that often for the Chiefs, but he still was a valuable asset to the defense, especially on nickel and dime sets.
Fuller was a bigger part of the defense in 2018, when he played 92 percent of the snaps, but with injuries and more depth in the secondary, he did take a step back in 2019. However, it is still a loss for the Chiefs.
- Emmanuel Ogbah
Ogbah was another rotational player for the Chiefs last season that found a new home in 2020, signing with the Miami Dolphins. The loss of Ogbah should not be overly hard to replace, especially if Charlton thrives.
- Cameron Erving
Cameron Erving was the Chiefs’ starting left tackle last season and while he was never exceptional, he certainly got the job done and was good enough in protecting Mahomes’ blindside while Eric Fisher was out.
The former first-round pick signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys as the starting nod in Kansas City goes to a healthy Fisher.
- LeSean McCoy
The Chiefs opted not to re-sign LeSean McCoy, so it was their decision to lose the veteran running back.
- Mecole Hardman
The second-round pick from 2019 was already an asset in the passing game, garnering over 500 receiving yards in his first season. The Chiefs are likely going to start phasing Hardman into the gameplan more and more and phasing veteran Sammy Watkins out, so expect an even bigger year for Hardman in 2020.
Rookies to watch:
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire
The Chiefs selected LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire with the 32nd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and it was a great selection for the Chiefs and a scary one for the rest of the league.
The one area that you could have potentially criticize the Chiefs’ offense is the running game, as Damien Williams has not been as great as expected and has struggled to stay on the field. With the team not re-signing Sean McCoy, the Chiefs needed a running back.
Edwards-Helaire was a great addition that makes an already great offense even better. He rushed for 1,414 yards and added 453 receiving yards in his junior season and instantly is going to be yet another playmaker to put around Patrick Mahomes.
- Willie Gay Jr.
Willie Gay Jr. was selected in the second round by the Chiefs and is more than likely going to start his rookie season. Gay is extremely talented and could be a huge component of the Chiefs defense but was criticized heading into the draft for “off-field issues“.
He was one of the most exciting linebacker prospects from a talent standpoint and the Chiefs took the risk on him and it could payout big-time.
How do the LA Chargers stack up against the Kansas City Chiefs?
Simply put: the Kansas City Chiefs are the better football team. The LA Chargers do have the better defense and have succeeded in containing the Chiefs’ offense in previous matchups, but the Chiefs have the best quarterback in football and it shows.
That offense is just so talented and the team has gotten better and better on defense every single year. At worst, the Chiefs moved laterally defensively and should not be worse than they were last year. And if Gay performs as well as he could, the Chiefs’ defense could be even more dangerous.
The Chargers are going to have to wait for Patrick Mahomes’ new contract for the Chiefs to make some decisions on who to keep and who to let go before they can even consider winning the AFC West.