NFL Football

30
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
LA Chargers 0 14 0 16 30
Kansas City 0 3 14 7 24
24
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST11:00 AM CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00 , September 26, 2021
GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri  Weather: 81°, Clear  Attendance: 72,980

Chargers-Chiefs Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs

  1. Since the start of 2018, the Chiefs are 19-6 at home, tied for second best in the NFL (Packers, 20-4-1). In that span, they are 1-2 at home against the Chargers and 18-4 against every other team.
  2. The Chargers fell at home to the Cowboys, 20-17, their 16th loss by seven points or fewer since 2019, most in the NFL. They had 12 penalties for 99 yards in the loss, their most infractions and penalty yards since 2018 Week 11 versus Denver (14 penalties, 120 yards).
  3. The Chiefs lost to the Ravens on Sunday night, 36-35, after leading by 11 points entering the fourth quarter. It was their first loss under Patrick Mahomes when leading by double digits through three quarters, having gone 29-0 entering Sunday (including postseason).
  4. Justin Herbert leads all quarterbacks in completions (19), passing yards (271) and first-down conversions (16) on third down this season. On third-and-11+, he is 5-for-6 for 112 yards and four first downs.
  5. Travis Kelce has caught a touchdown in six straight regular-season games dating back to last season. That is the longest active streak of games with a receiving TD and tied for the second-longest streak by a tight end in NFL history (Antonio Gates, 9 straight from 2009-10).
  6. The Chiefs have allowed 938 total net yards so far this season, most of any team, while the Chargers have 832 total yards of offense, fifth most of any team. Kansas City's 938 yards allowed are its second most through two games behind their 2018 season (1016).
Team Comparison

Los Angeles
 
Kansas City
18.5 Points 34.0
337.5 Pass Yds 340.0
92.5 Rush Yds 67.5
2 Takeaways 4
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) You'd be hard pressed to find anyone a couple of weeks ago that didn't think Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs were headed for their sixth consecutive AFC West championship this season.

It would have been just as tough finding anyone who didn't think the Los Angeles Chargers would finish right behind them.

Yet after the Chargers lost a heartbreaker to the Cowboys last weekend, and the Chiefs fumbled away a win in Baltimore on Sunday night, the longtime rivals find themselves in the most unexpected of circumstances this week: Los Angeles is headed to Kansas City for a matchup where the loser finds itself at 1-2 and in the division cellar.

"I think everybody is ready to go," Mahomes said this week. "We lost to a really good football team. It was a really good football game. But it's still a long season. We have an AFC West opponent, a great team, coming to town, so you have to turn the page and get on to the next opponent."

Both teams have plenty of issues to sort out inside Arrowhead Stadium.

The Chargers struggled to stop the Dallas run, their offense couldn't get into the end zone despite several promising drives, and self-inflected wounds - turnovers, interceptions and penalties - cost them a potentially winning touchdown.

The result was a frustrating 20-17 loss at SoFi Stadium.

"There are always things to clean up," said Herbert, who threw two interceptions against the Cowboys, one of them in the end zone. "Whether that's our protection plan, our routes, our run game - we have to do better with it all."

Herbert also acknowledged the Chargers need to "put up more points," and that's especially true against the Chiefs, who are third in the league in scoring through the first two weeks despite their 36-35 loss to the Ravens last weekend.

That defeat exposed plenty of problems in Kansas City, too: The Chiefs couldn't stop the run game, failed to pressure the quarterback, struggled to establish their own run game and had plenty of turnovers and penalties of their own.

"I understand the question about rallying the guys," Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu said, "but again, it's only two games in, and we've played two of the best teams in the conference."

They're about to play another one Sunday. And the loser will be looking up at them - along with the unbeaten Raiders and Broncos - in a division race that could end up being a lot more interesting than some people thought.

"I think that they're still trying to find their way, just like every other NFL team is right now," Chargers coach Brandon Staley said. "I don't think any team that is playing in the NFL is where they're going to be in January. I think every team is kind of finding itself. But Kansas City is as good as it gets. Their record speaks for itself the last three years."

INJURY SITUATION

While the Chiefs are mostly healthy, the Chargers have plenty of question marks. Defensive lineman Justin Jones (calf), safety Derwin James Jr. (toe), linebacker Joey Bosa (foot) and cornerback Chris Harris Jr. (shoulder) did not practice early in the week, and it's possible that Harris could be a game-time decision.

RED ZONE WOES

The Chargers are effective at moving the ball between the 20s, but are struggling to score touchdowns once they get into the red zone. Los Angeles has only three TDs in 10 opportunities with four field goals and three turnovers.

"Really, they're little things. They're not these huge, hot-button items, where you're saying, `Man, we're in trouble,' I certainly don't feel that way," Staley said. "It's just a lot of little things within how we deploy our personnel, how we play techniques."

PICK YOUR POISON

Most teams have to decide whether to double cover Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce or wide receiver Tyreek Hill. The Ravens went with Hill, limiting his touches, but Kelce still had seven grabs for 109 yards last week. That gave him 8,066 yards for his career, and he needs just 284 to pass Jimmy Graham for seventh among NFL tight ends.

ON THE RUN

Much like the Chiefs, who have the worst rush defense in the NFL through two games, Staley wants to see the Chargers shore up the defensive line this week. Los Angeles allowed 6.4 yards per carry to the Cowboys.

"The runs that split us, we were in good run defenses that weren't executed well. A big part of execution is knowing what to do and how to do it," Staley said. "As I said, that's me as a coach defining it better for our players."

ON THE RUN, PART II

Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has just 27 carries for 89 yards through two games, and his fumble with just over a minute left against Baltimore cost Kansas City the opportunity to kick a potentially winning field goal.

Kelce was asked what he told Edwards-Helaire after the game: "Man up. It is what it is," he replied, "and that's not just Clyde. That's anyone in the building and in the locker room. We will never point fingers and say it's just one person's loss. That is not how we roll at Kansas City. We'll fix it in the four quarters of football. We'll fix it."

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Updated September 23, 2021

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