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2021-01-03
Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs
League : NFL

Kansas City Chiefs vs Los Angeles Chargers Prediction & Preview


 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

 

With the Chiefs locked into the top AFC playoff spot, and the Chargers eliminated, this week 17 matchup between division rivals will lack drama. The Chiefs will sit star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, while Tyreek Hill, Le’Veon Bell, Clyde Edwards Helaire, and Sammy Watkins will likely sit to recover from injuries. Tight end Travis Kelce is also not expected to play, meaning backup quarterback Chad Henne will be without most of the Chiefs dynamic playmakers when he makes his first start since 2014. Still, Henne is excited for the opportunity to lead his team to a historic 15th victory.

On the other side, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has already made history. In last week’s win over the Broncos, Herbert set the NFL rookie passing touchdown mark in the first half. Herbert finished 21/33 for 253 yards and that touchdown despite being without top target Keenan Allen (COVID). Defensively, Casey Hayward, Jr. and Mike Williams each recorded interceptions in the win.

Games like this can be wildly unpredictable, as the Chargers know their season is finished after Sunday, while the Chiefs will be resting their starters. The Chargers have won three in a row and gave Kansas City a fight in the first meeting. For those reasons, the Chargers have opened as a 3.5 point favorite on the road.

 

Chargers Hope to Keep Win Streak Alive As They Head Into Offseason

The Los Angeles Chargers found their future franchise quarterback this season, but still need to develop their offensive lines and run game to make a playoff push in future seasons. Still, a four-game winning streak to end the season can go a long way in erasing the sting of nine losses, seven of which were one-possession games.

 

 

Justin Herbert looks to put the exclamation point on a remarkable rookie season. Herbert has completed 66.3% of his passes for 4034 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Herbert’s favorite target, Keenan Allen has been ruled out for week 17. That means Mike Williams, who has caught 42 passes for 648 yards and four scores, will take over as the top wideout target. Tight end Hunter Henry has hauled in 60 receptions for 613 yards and four touchdowns. Running back Austin Ekeler is the latest in a revolving door of backs to be the featured rusher, but he is averaging around 56.9 yards per game this season.

Defensively, the Chargers may be without Joey Bosa, who is listed as questionable.

 

Who Are These Chiefs

With the top playoff spot locked up, we will get a glimpse of the bottom of the Chiefs depth chart as Andy Reid will rest his starters heading into the playoffs. Quarterback Chad Henne, who has completed five passes in mop-up duty this season, will get the start as Patrick Mahomes sits. This will be Henne’s first start since 2014. Henne will be without skill players Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Le’Veon Bell, and Clyde Edwards Helaire as they recover from injuries. There is also speculation that tight end Travis Kelce could sit this game out.

 

What that means is Henne will have Darrel Williams as his primary back. Williams has played in all 15 games this season, averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson should attract plenty of Henne’s targets on the perimeter.



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