NFL Preview: Chargers To Visit Chiefs (Dec. 13) For AFC West Title Showdown On ‘Thursday Night Football’
Scorched Earth gridiron. Playoff stakes. A lot of touchdowns. That’s what you can expect from the mammoth division matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night in Arrowhead Stadium.
The Chargers, (10-3) are just one (!) game behind the Chiefs, (11-2) and are the hottest team in the AFC. Reeling off three straight wins, the Chargers boast the second-longest winning streak in the league behind the Dallas Cowboys. Yes, even ahead of Kansas City and New England. The Chiefs can expect the most difficult division game of the season, one that can end up as the game that decides the winner of the AFC West and possibly the first seed in the playoffs. The Chargers have proved to be a force, but lack a dominant win over an elite team such as the Chief. Even further, the Chargers haven’t beaten the Chiefs in five years.
Yes. It’s been five years since the Chargers (then of San Diego) have won a game against Kansas City, losing nine of their previous matchups against them, including one at the beginning of the 2018 season. The last win against Kansas City for the Chargers came in Week 12 of 2013, but since the franchise has relocated, fans and players look to start a new trend.
Offensive lineman Mike Pouncey, a newcomer to the LA franchise, is looking forward to the chance of changing course. “It was nine?” He asked. “We lost nine in a row to them? Damn. Yeah, I didn’t know that, but I guess it really doesn’t matter. It’s the next game for us.”
Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn is as new as the Los Angeles version of the Bolts. He’s in his second season with the team, and isn’t happy about keeping the pace of losses against the heralded division leaders. “We’ve lost three that I know of,” He said. “I don’t know about much, but three is too many for me. We’d like to stop that streak.”
It’ll be up to quarterback Philip Rivers to continue his heroics if the streak is to finish under ten losses. The offense under Rivers is spectacular, but Kansas City’s is one of the greatest the league has ever seen. In their two losses against the Rams and Patriots, the Chiefs have averaged 45 points. Rivers, who has been with the team for all of the past nine losses against the Chiefs, says he doesn’t think much about the trends and feels that this team has what it takes to grab the division by the throat.
“We can make stats say whatever we want,” Rivers said. “We kick off on Thursday. This game, we’ll see what happens on Thursday. Each game, to me, stands alone. While I acknowledge that’s been the case — it’s been a while — but there are guys in this locker room that have only played them one time.”
The juggernaut offense of the Chiefs, led by phenom quarterback Patrick Mahomes, will surely face a challenge and a motivated team with the division on the line is the makings of a must-see game.
Thursday’s game kicks off at 8:20 p.m. EST and will air on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon Prime.