“Chargers-Chiefs-Sunday–Who Shows Up?
Should be a marquee game in the NFL come Sunday night.
Should have been for first place in he AFC-West.
Should be viewed as a critical game for one team-almost a must win.
The biggest storyline would naturally be the super star QB against the budding superstar QB, the Patrick Mahomes-Justin Herbert potential shootout.
It might still turn out to be that way, but the other storyline has to be considered.
Who are the quarterbacks going to throw the ball to come Sunday night.
The Wednesday injury list was staggering for both teams.
The Chargers group of injured receivers went thru limited workouts but there is no idea whether any or all will be ready to play Sunday night, and then the secondary question, how long to they hold up.
Keenan Allen, the leader of the pack, has been on the field just twice , since opening day. He’s had setbacks with the hamstring injury suffered opening day, twice and who knows if he has any explosiveness.
Mike Williams, the big play big man, has been hobbled for nearly a month with a leg injury, is desperately needed.
Tight end Gerald Everett went down with a groin injury and those things take weeks to come back from.
And return man, part-time receiver DeAndre Carter has rib problems now too.
Add in the season ending injury to Jaylen Guyton and the loss of power back Josh Kelly, having his best season, means Herbert is woefully short of skill people. Sorry, Michael Bandy and Joe Reed don’t make up for what has been lost.
Last week’s woeful second half performance, 52-yards in offense in San Francisco, should alarm everyone.
Kansas City comes to town leading the league with 423-yards per game on offense. Mahomes has an offense converting 52% of third down opportunities. The Chiefs are averaging 313-yards per game, passing. And by the way, the guys wearing red have scored 34-touchdowns already..
Mahomes is vintage Mahomes, a stat pack that shows (2,936-Yards)…(25TD) and a 67% completion rate.
The elite tight end Travis Kelce has 63-catches in the post Tyreek Hill era. The newcomers have made a difference, the ex Steelers Ju Ju Smith (46R) and former Packers Marquez Scantling (17YPC).
So dynamic, and that does not include part time playmakers Mecole Hardman and newly acquired ex Giants #1 pick-Kadarius Toney. And don’t forget the running backs have combined to catch 53-more passes.
But for the first time, the Chiefs are ailing. Hardman is not practicing with a hamstring. Schuster-Smith took a big hit that resulted in a concussion. And Scantling has been ill all week.
So who knows who will show up come Sunday. Can Herbert find his rhythm throwing to all these backups? If Mahomes does not have his starting wideouts, can he live with just Kelce and the running backs to make their offense work?
Of course the Chargers defensive front looks like a pile of rubble. No Joey Bosa, then the season ending injury to Austin Johnson. Last week followed with the release of former #1 pick Gerry Tillery, then season ending injuries to two young backups. Last checked, the Bolts have the second worst run defense in the NFL too.
The Chargers are in desperate shape because they still have tough games ahead on the schedule, if they don’t win this weekend. Kansas City has a decent lead over the rest of the struggling AFC West, but they are in the midst of playing 4-road games in a 5-week span.
Could be a shootout come Sunday night. Both are hurting alot. Both know a Chiefs win likely dooms the Bolts. A Chargers win gives them breathing room as they start to look closeup at potential wild card opportunities.
Sunday night, we see who shows up, who can stay on the field, who makes the biggest amount of big plays. Next game might be last chance for the Chargers to save their season. It’a also the chance for the Chiefs to end the season for everyone else in the AFC West.