LA Chargers News

LA Chargers: Five keys to bouncing back against the Chiefs

By Alexander Insdorf
Jam Media/Getty Images
2 of 5
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2. Put a QB Spy on Patrick Mahomes

Gus Bradley catches a lot of flack from Chargers fans based on how the end of his defensive coordinator tenure played out here, but he always kept it pretty competitive with the Chiefs. The most the Chargers ever lost to Mahomes' Chiefs teams by was 10 points in his first NFL start.

However, Bradley had one fatal flaw against Mahomes, particularly in recent years-letting him pick up yards on the ground. No one would mistake him for a mobile quarterback, statistically speaking. In the first three seasons of his NFL career, Mahomes has only averaged 16.6 rush yards per game.

Against the Chargers in the last two seasons though, Mahomes averaged 44.7 yards per game. A lot of these yards came on critical third-down opportunities where the Chargers could not get off the field:

The reality of playing the Chiefs is that Mahomes is going to beat you with his arm. It's simply a matter of how often it's going to happen. But the one thing that Brandon Staley can't do as a DC in this game is allow him to pick up first downs with his legs. One strategy could be using linebacker Kenneth Murray as a primary quarterback spy, but it doesn't necessarily have to be him.

Chargers fans will certainly be concerned with the idea of getting run on by opposing teams' running backs after a poor showing vs. Dallas in that department, but they should also think about the more unconventional ways Mahomes has exposed the Bolts' defense before.