The 10-3 Los Angeles Chargers will travel to Kansas City to take on the 11-2 Chiefs in this week’s important AFC West Thursday night matchup. Both teams have won 4 of their past 5 games including last week where they were both victorious by less than 6 points. The Chiefs beat the Baltimore Ravens at home in overtime 27-24. It was their second game since star running back Kareem Hunt was released from the team for multiple off the field instances. The Chargers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals at home 26-21. They have just 1 loss in their last 10 games and it was a 1 point defeat to the Broncos in week 11. Just one game separates these two teams in the division and a win by the Chargers would put them in a tie for first with just 2 games left.
The Chargers gained just 305 yards against the Bengals which is 97 less than their season average of 402 and they still won. Philip Rivers finished with a passer rating of 99.8 as he completed 19 of 29 passes for 220 yards, 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions. His favorite target was Keenan Allen who had 78 yards and a touchdown on 5 receptions. The team gained 85 rushing yards with Austin Ekeler leading the team with 66 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Mike Badgley made all 4 field goals he attempted including a 59 yarder which set the franchise record. Defensively, they did not force a turnover but did sack Jeff Driskel 3 times and had 5 tackles for losses. They struggled against the run as the Bengals 144 yards on 32 carries which is an average of 4.5 yards per rush. For the season, the Chargers defense has allowed its opponents to average 20.8 points and 349.2 yards per game.
Patrick Mahomes finished with a passer rating of 91.5 against the Ravens as he completed 35 of 53 passes for 377 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. His favorite target was Tyreek Hill 8 catches for 139 yards. Travis Kelce also had a nice game 7 catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. The team gained 94 rushing yards on 27 carries which is an average of 3.5 yards per run. On the year the Chiefs offense has averaged 36.2 points and 449.4 yards per game. Defensively, they allowed over 5 yards per carry as the Ravens gained 198 yards on 39 rushes. They recovered 1 fumble and sacked Lamar Jackson 3 times.
Kansas City will have home field advantage and are favored by a field goal. They have gone 8-4-1 against the spread including 3-3 at home. They have won both games since Hunt was released and have averaged 134 rushing yards in those games. The Chargers have gone 7-6 against the spread including 5-1 on the road. With just 1 game separating these 2 teams, this game is sure to shake up the AFC West playoff picture.