LA Chargers News

LA Chargers: Five keys to bouncing back against the Chiefs

By Alexander Insdorf
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Derwin James
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5. Derwin James' return to Arrowhead

This will be Derwin James' first game against the Chiefs in two years. The last time James played against Kansas City was when the Chiefs played the Chargers in Week 17 of the 2019 season. #33 led the team in tackles with eight and held Kelce to three receptions for 24 yards.

It doesn't take a lot of brain cells to say that the Chargers are better with James on the field. But if you're going to beat the Chiefs and limit their explosion, there's an argument to be made that the former Florida State safety is more a need than a want. A sentiment Staley echoed after the Washington game was, "we know our record with and without Derwin".

Through two weeks, James has the highest safety grade in the league on PFF with an 89.9. He's been involved at all three levels of the defense with a sack, pass breakup, 13 tackles, and eight stops.

It's still too early to say for sure, but Harris probably won't play in Sunday's game with a shoulder injury that's still affecting him. The secondary would be at a huge disadvantage in this type of scenario without James, as we saw during prolonged Harris + James absences last season.

Out of all the factors I've mentioned, the former All-Pro safety returning to face the Chiefs is the most important. They need to be able to stick him on Kelce and other Chiefs game breakers with confidence.