LA Chargers: Stopping Travis Kelce and the 5 keys to beating the Chiefs
4. Don’t let Mahomes escape
The LA Chargers kept Mahomes in check when it came to passing in both games last season. However, the Mexico game showed what Mahomes can do with his legs if you don’t bring him down. Los Angeles stopped the Chiefs’ running backs in their tracks but allowed Mahomes to have 5 rushes for 60 yards.
While that doesn’t seem too bad on paper, it’s situational football that killed the Chargers there. On 3rd and 7 in the first quarter, Mahomes scrambled for 24 yards to prolong the drive and keep the defense on the field.
Another 3rd down play in the third quarter, and you guessed it, Mahomes once again escapes the pressure to gain 20 yards. In the fourth quarter, the 2018 MVP continued running on the Chargers for 15 yards on a 3rd and 6 with three minutes left.
This isn’t necessarily a simple problem to deal with, but the Chargers have to have someone there as a spy to hold Mahomes. Yes, he might chuck it for 20+ yards and burn the Bolts that way. If I’m Gus Bradley though, I want to force Mahomes to beat the defense with his arm. Trust your secondary that’s played very well against him in the past.
Who could be candidates to be QB spy in this one? Murray strikes me as a possible candidate since I don’t see him dropping back in this one often. If they don’t have a lot of receivers on the field, Harris or King could stay near the box as well.
Force Mahomes to beat you with his arm, not his legs.