LA Chargers: Five players who need to improve to defeat the Chiefs

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(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

LA Chargers that must improve: Rayshawn Jenkins

Rayshawn Jenkins might be the most important player when it comes to containing the Chiefs’ offense. When Derwin James is active for the Chargers, he’s the one who’s tasked with taking on Travis Kelce. In the final game of last season, Kelce finished with three catches for 24 yards, being shut down almost entirely by James and the Chargers’ defense.

However, there was also the Mexico game where Kelce was the leading receiver for Kansas City. Being matched up with Thomas Davis, Jenkins, Michael Davis, etc., Kelce was much more successful than he was against James in the season finale.

He finished with seven receptions for 92 yards and a wide-open touchdown. Jenkins’ busted coverage resulted in that 23-yard strike from Mahomes to Kelce.

The Chargers’ secondary matches up favorably with the Chiefs’ wideouts. Michael Davis has the speed to keep up with Tyreek Hill while Casey Hayward and Chris Harris will cover Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson. There’s no straightforward answer to the Kelce problem without James though, and that seems like the biggest issue generally speaking.

Jenkins is the one who has to step up for the team this week in covering Kelce. Hopefully, he watches some of that Mexico game tape to see what he can do better. Kenneth Murray may also get a few cracks at covering the veteran tight end.