NFL Football

23
Final 1 2 3 4 OT Tot
Kansas City 0 6 3 11 3 23
LA Chargers 7 7 3 3 0 20
20
1:25 PM PT2:25 PM MT3:25 PM CT4:25 PM ET20:25 GMT4:25 1:25 PM MST3:25 PM EST3:25 PM CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25 , September 20, 2020
SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California  Attendance: 0

Chiefs-Chargers Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers

  1. The Chiefs have won 15 of their last 16 AFC West games, with the only defeat coming at home against the Chargers on December 13, 2018 -- by one point. That victory is the only one for the Chargers in the last 12 meetings between the two sides.
  2. After starting last season 6-4, Kansas City has won 10 straight games, regular season and playoffs. The streak began last November with a win over the Chargers in Mexico City. Each of the last seven victories has come by a double-digit margin; since 2000, only the 2007 Patriots (eight games) have had a longer streak of wins by 10 or more points.
  3. Los Angeles' 16-13 win at Cincinnati last week was just the third victory for the team since 2007 in a regular-season or postseason game in which they scored fewer than 17 points. The Chargers had dropped 36 of their previous 38 games when failing to reach 17 points.
  4. First-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 138 yards in his NFL debut, Thursday's victory over Houston. It was the most rushing yards in the NFL in Week 1, and Edwards-Helaire was the third player ever to rush for at least 100 yards in a Chiefs debut (Kareem Hunt -- 148 in 2017; Christian Okoye -- 105 in 1987).
  5. Fourth-year man Austin Ekeler rushed for 84 yards in Week 1 -- second most in his career -- and is now 45 yards short of 1500 for his career. He would become the fourth player to compile 1500 rushing yards and 1500 receiving yards since 2017, joining Todd Gurley II, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara.
  6. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, who turns 25 on Thursday, has already won an NFL MVP and a Super Bowl MVP. Chargers signal-caller Tyrod Taylor is 31 years old and is playing for his fourth NFL team. Among quarterbacks with at least 1000 career pass attempts, Taylor has the second-lowest interception percentage at 1.44; Mahomes is third at 1.59.
Team Comparison

Kansas City
 
Los Angeles
34.0 Points 16.0
211.0 Pass Yds 208.0
166.0 Rush Yds 155.0
1 Takeaways 2
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) The Los Angeles Chargers' long wait for a shiny new home ends on Sunday when they play their first game in SoFi Stadium. Their first guest though could dampen the housewarming.

The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs have won 11 of the past 12 in the series and have taken the past six as the road team. Kansas City also looks primed for a repeat run after a convincing 34-20 victory over the Houston Texans in its opener.

The Chiefs have also won 10 straight overall, going back to last season. Coincidentally, their winning streak began with a 24-17 victory over the Chargers in Mexico City.

"They have weapons everywhere," said Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward. "They have the best QB in the league. They have too many weapons over there but we have weapons too. We know they are big-play hunting so we have to eliminate those."

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The Chargers' defense has contained Patrick Mahomes at times, but it hasn't translated to wins. As much as Mahomes has dominated the league in his first two years as a starter, he has been even better in September. He has won all seven of his starts the first month of the season with 26 touchdowns and no interceptions. He has thrown for more than 300 yards in all but one game and has three-plus TDs in all seven.

Trying to get an upper hand over Kansas City is why Los Angeles signed defensive tackle Linval Joseph and cornerback Chris Harris as well as trading up into the first round to take linebacker Kenneth Murray.

"They played us really well last year, that defense, holding us to some low numbers, stuff that we had been trending on getting better numbers, better scores, and all of that different type of stuff," Mahomes said. "They have a really good defense and a really good scheme. We have to do our best job of being within ourselves and finding a way to put points on the board."

The Chargers, who are coming off a 16-13 win at Cincinnati, have had a couple of walk-through practices at SoFi Stadium. Coach Anthony Lynn said he thinks they have a familiarity of their new surroundings, which hopefully will help early.

"It seems like the waiting time has gone fast," said Lynn, who is hoping to direct the Bolts to their first 2-0 start in eight years.

Someone else eager to see the new venue is Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who is a Los Angeles native.

"I think it is great for the City of Angels. I'm happy for them to have a beautiful stadium like that," he said. "The Coliseum is great in their own right, but this one here is a modern day deal and it looks beautiful."

ELIMINATE TURNOVERS

Los Angeles has a minus-15 turnover differential in its past six games against Kansas City. The Chargers have committed 17 turnovers in those games with the Chiefs converting those into 58 points (seven touchdowns, three field goals).

"It's ridiculous how many times we have given it away and we have only taken it away twice," Lynn said. "You're just not gonna beat this team that way. So that's, that's been our primary focus."

ENCORE?

Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire became the youngest player to rush for 130 or more yards and a TD last week.

Running backs coach Deland McCullough said he expects the first-round pick to take even bigger steps this week.

"It's just the amount of growth that happens from your first full game to your second one, so that's the part that I'm excited about, that we're all excited about is," McCullough said. "I mean, he's really grown a lot. You're talking about just from last game to the next practice that we had a few days ago just learning and being able to see on tape."

Chargers defensive lineman Uchenna Nwosu said Edwards-Helaire has excellent jump-cutting ability, but is also aided by running behind a veteran offensive line.

STAYING STEADY

Chargers QB Tyrod Taylor had a league-low 53.3 percent completion rate last week, but he didn't commit any turnovers. The points of emphasis this week have been on trying to be more productive on first and second downs in order to stay ahead of the chains.

"They're going to do a number of different things. But it's up to us to stay focused on the things that we're practicing throughout this week and staying true to our game plan," he said.

SECONDARY CONCERNS

The Chiefs will be without their top two cornerbacks to match up against Chargers receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Bashaud Breeland is serving a four-game suspension for off-field issues and Charvarius Ward broke his hand in the opener.

Rashad Fenton, who is in his second season, is in line for his first start after playing in 12 games last season while fourth-round pick L'Jarius Sneed had an interception in his NFL debut.

Allen has 61 receptions against the Chiefs, which is his second-most against an opponent. Williams has been a matchup problem for Kansas City in the past and is averaging 16.9 yards per catch.

UNDER PRESSURE

Besides preaching turnovers, the Chargers have been stressing trying to apply consistent pressure on Mahomes.

According to Statradar, Mahomes was blitzed nearly 40% of the time by Houston but the Texans were only able to apply pressure on 12% of his dropbacks. Los Angeles got three sacks against Cincinnati's Joe Burrow last week but all of those came in the first half as the Bengals went to a shorter passing game.

That could be a problem again this week as Mahomes has one of the quickest releases in the league.

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Updated September 17, 2020

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