Two AFC heavyweights face off as the Chargers and Chiefs meet in primetime on Thursday night.
The Chargers defeated the Bengals 26-21 on Sunday . In week 12, they smoked the Cardinals 45-10, and beat the Steelers 33-30 in week 13.
Kansas City won a 27-24 overtime slugfest over Baltimore on Sunday. In week 11, they lost 54-51 to the Rams, had a bye week in week 12, and beat the Raiders 40-33 in week 13.
GTBets look-ahead line has the Chiefs as 4 point favourites, and an O/U has not been set.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers offense spreads the ball around well, and has dynamic receiving talents across the field. Philip Rivers has been phenomenal, throwing for 3638 yards, 29 TDs, and 6 INTs while completing 69.4% of his passes and averaging 8.9 YPA. Keenan Allen has been the #1 receiver, catching 88 balls for 1074 yards and 6 TDs. Tyrell Williams is an explosive downfield threat, catching 32 balls for 547 yards and 5 TDs. Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon have also combined for 83 catches for 857 yards and 7 TDs in the pass game. Melvin Gordon leads the team with 802 yards and 9 TDs on 153 carries, while Ekeler has rushed 98 times for 496 yards and 2 TDs.
Their scoring defense ranks in the top 10, allowing just 20.8 PPG. Their pass defense is top 10 as well, allowing 224.8 yards per game and 19 TDs on the year, and rank below average in sacks with 32. Their run defense ranks above average, allowing 107.1 yards per game and 9 TDs on the ground this season.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
RB Austin Ekeler (elbow/shoulder) – questionable, RB Melvin Gordon (knee) – questionable
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs offense continues to dominate, and did enough against a tough Baltimore defense. Pat Mahomes has thrown for 4300 yards, 43 TDs, and 11 INTs while completing 66.8% of his passes and averaging 8.9 YPA. Travis Kelce has been a dynamic threat at tight end, catching 86 balls for 1159 yards and 10 TDs. Tyreek Hill is a true downfield threat, and adds a true explosive element with his versatility. He has caught 74 balls for 1258 yards and 11 TDs. Spencer Ware has assumed the lead back role, and has rushed for 246 yards and 2 TDs on 51 carries this season.
The Chiefs scoring defense ranks in the bottom 10, allowing 27 PPG. Their pass defense ranks dead last, allowing 281.8 yards per game and 25 TDs through the air, while their pass rush ranks among the league leaders with 42 sacks. Their run defense ranks below average with 127.8 yards per game and 13 TDs allowed per game.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
RB Spencer Ware (hamstring) – questionable, OG Cam Erving (knee) – questionable, S Eric Berry (foot) – questionable
This one should be fun. Two high powered offenses in primetime may be reminiscent of the Chiefs/Rams game from a few weeks ago. The Chargers offense is explosive in the pass game down the field, and should give the Chiefs secondary fits. There is not a single player on the Chiefs roster who can match up with Keenan Allen one on one, and Philip Rivers will eat zone coverages alive. Whether or not they have Melvin Gordon should play little bearing on the outcome of the game as the Chiefs run D is suspect and this is going to be an air it out type of game. Up front, the Chiefs pass rush can get pressure and should against an average Chargers front line.
We know how dangerous the Chiefs offense is, and the loss of Kareem Hunt does not seem to hamper them whatsoever. Spencer Ware and Damien Williams are capable stand ins who do their damage in space and take what is given in the run game. The Travis Kelce-Derwin James matchup should be fun, but Tyreek Hill is going to do the majority of the damage here. The Chargers have the pass rush in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram among others to get in Mahomes face and force a few errant throws. In the end, this game should end up in the high 30s or 40s and the Chiefs should come out with the win, but the Chargers will do enough to keep this within a field goal.
Final Pick: Chargers (+4)