The Kansas City chiefs will head into San Diego to take on the Chargers in this week’s addition of Monday Night Football. The Chiefs have not performed to preseason expectations and are coming off a disappointing 35-32 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Last weeks loss put the teams record at 6-4 and makes this game critical if they want a realistic chance at winning the division and getting a first round bye. The Chargers had a chance to even their record at 5-5 with a win last week over the Raiders, instead they blew that opportunity and find themselves at 4-6 headed into this week’s game.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes went 36-50 last week for 446 yards and 3 touchdowns. Running back Damien Williams had 19 carries for 77 yards. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill had 11 catches for 157 yards and 1 touchdown. None of these stats mattered in the end as the defense allowed 35 points including 188 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns to Tennessee running back Derrick Henry.
The Chargers had an inconsistent day from quarterback Philip Rivers who went 17-31 for 207 yards with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Running back Melvin Gordon had 22 carries for 108 yards. Wide receiver Keenan Allen has 8 catches for 65 yards to lead all Chargers receivers.
Everyone hopes the playing surface at Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium will not be the main story of Monday night’s game. Both coaches said they have received favorable updates about the turf going into the game. Last year’s game between the Chiefs and Rams was relocated to Los Angeles less than a week before the game when the field was deemed unplayable because of rain and the stadium having hosted concerts less than a month before the game. The teams have taken different approaches to preparing. The Chargers have spent the week at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs to get acclimated to the altitude. The Chiefs have kept their same routine with the only adjustment being to hydrate more, according to Mahomes.
It is an important AFC West matchup. Kansas City (6-4) won its first four games but has dropped four of its past six, allowing Oakland to get within a half-game of the division lead. Los Angeles (4-6) has struggled for most of the season but remains only two games out. This is the first of two straight division games for the Chiefs. After their bye week, they will host the Raiders on Dec. 1. Rivers leads the league in passing yards (2,816) but is also third in interceptions (10). He had three last week against Oakland, including a pick-6 that loomed large in what turned out to be a 26-24 loss to the Raiders. The Chargers were among the league’s better teams in not committing turnovers the past two seasons, but their 16 giveaways this season are tied for seventh in the league. Five have occurred in goal-to-go situations.