4 issues to observe for in Chargers-Chiefs conflict on Prime Video

September 14, 2022

Thursday night time might get the ball in movement on two large 2022 season races — the AFC West battle and the MVP award. That’s as a result of the division-rival Chargers and Chiefs are set to conflict at Arrowhead Stadium to kick off Week 2, and which means we’re as soon as once more being handled to quarterback royalty.

Patrick Mahomes gave everybody a refresher course on his greatness in dismantling the Cardinals on the highway in Week 1, whereas Justin Herbert was fairly deadly within the Chargers’ hang-on-for-dear-life win over the Raiders.

The Chiefs have win 13 of the their previous 16 video games in opposition to the Chargers, together with a Week 15 Thursday thriller final season at SoFi Stadium, however Los Angeles has taken two straight in Kansas Metropolis.

Which AFC heavyweight will come on high on this one? Even with all of the offensive firepower on the sector, it might come right down to which new-and-improved protection steps up essentially the most.

Listed here are 4 issues to observe Thursday night time when the Chiefs play host to the Chargers within the first-ever Thursday night time sport on Prime Video:

  1. Mahomes vs. Herbert. No sense in messing round. That is what you got here for: Probably the perfect QB matchup of the season — and their subsequent assembly isn’t till late November. Mahomes could be coming off his worst season in 2021, however he was the league’s greatest QB on Sunday. Making an attempt to knock him off that perch is Herbert, who was distinctive at instances within the opener, too. Each quarterbacks need to be thought-about among the many league’s MVP frontrunners, early because it could be, proper alongside the Payments’ Josh Allen. That is the fourth assembly between Mahomes and Herbert, with Mahomes main the battle, 2-1. Every of these video games have been determined by six factors or fewer, all coming right down to the ultimate play of the sport (two in time beyond regulation). Neither has performed poorly in opposition to each other, though Mahomes’ two INTs within the loss at Arrowhead final yr had been pricey. Nonetheless, you merely can not ask for a greater head-to-head battle on the place. Nobody ought to overlook how particular these gamers are, each at the moment of their primes.
  2. Which protection will make the larger assertion? The Chargers performed with out prized free-agent signee CB J.C. Jackson in Week 1, however the protection’s different huge addition was lights out. Khalil Mack’s return to the division was a raucous one, as he had three sacks (his first three-sack sport since 2015), 4 QB hits and a pressured fumble. Collectively, Mack and Joey Bosa put the Raiders’ offensive linemen on skates a lot of the day, serving to the protection register a whopping 22 pressures, six sacks, three interceptions and a game-ending turnover on downs. The Chargers have superb expertise on all three ranges, however they’d like to have Jackson make his debut after Michael Davis had some tough patches within the opener. The Chiefs protection was distinctive on the highway final week via three quarters earlier than going into forestall mode, up 30. Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, linebacker Nick Bolton and defensive deal with Chris Jones all had robust video games, however so did new move rushers Carlos Dunlap and George Karlaftis, who each provided warmth. The Chiefs arguably have the stronger offensive line, however the Chargers’ pass-rush group seems to be deadly. Can both protection decelerate these high-powered offenses?
  3. The damage issue. Thursday night time video games are at all times fast turnarounds for gamers, however particularly for the injured ones. Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker (ankle) has been dominated out versus the Chargers, and Ok.C. may also be with out rookie nook Trent McDuffie after taking place with a strained hamstring in Week 1. McDuffie performed nicely in his 21 snaps (not focused as soon as by Kyler Murray), however will miss the subsequent 4 weeks after he was positioned on injured reserve Tuesday. The Chiefs signed Matt Ammendola this week as insurance coverage and is ready to kick for the Chiefs. He was 6 of 6 on FG makes an attempt 39 yards or shorter with the Jets final season however solely 2 of 8 past 40 yards. The Chargers might have Jackson (ankle) for this sport after he missed Week 1, however head coach Brandon Staley put the chances at 50-50 on Monday; he is formally questionable to play. They’ll be with out huge receiver Keenan Allen (hamstring), nevertheless. That is a giant loss, as Allen usually provides the Chiefs matches.
  4. Spreading the ball round. Many questioned how Mahomes would carry out in his first sport with out Tyreek Hill. The reply: simply advantageous. The Chiefs had six gamers with three or extra catches in opposition to the Cardinals, which was tied for the second-most move catchers with Mahomes at QB. Travis Kelce nonetheless did his factor with eight grabs, 121 yards and one TD. However the newcomers and holdovers alike additionally stood tall. The hyphen twins, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, each had good Chiefs debuts. Rookie Skyy Moore had a 30-yard seize, Clyde Edwards-Helaire had his first two-TD receiving sport and Mecole Hardman and Jody Fortson each caught TDs. After Allen bought damage within the opener, Herbert unfold the ball round as nicely — 9 totally different Chargers caught passes however none had greater than 4 targets. If the Chiefs can shut down Chargers again Austin Ekeler as a runner, because the Raiders did final week, anticipate him to be unleashed extra as a move catcher, as he was within the second half of Week 1. With each secondaries at lower than 100%, there may very well be a whole lot of mouths which are fed via the air on this contest.
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