The Chargers amazing come from behind victory against the AFC West leading Chiefs in Kansas City has been over for less than 20 minutes...which means it’s the perfect time to throw down some hot taeks while I’m high on the win.
Philip Rivers is your new leader for MVP
Patrick Mahomes is having an absurdly amazing season. He can do things from the QB position that are so rare, it’s hard to say I’ve seen anything like it. He is most certainly the league’s Offensive Player of the Year. But Philip Rivers is the MVP. Mahomes was without Sammy Watkins and has been without Kareem Hunt for 2 weeks after he was suspended by the league, and they got taken to overtime by the Baltimore Ravens, then lost at home, with probably a top 3 home field advantage in the NFL. Rivers has been without Melvin Gordon multiple times this season, including on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers and here on the road against the Chiefs. He was without Keenan Allen for almost the entire game tonight. He has an inferior offensive line compared to what the Chiefs have. And what did Rivers do? He won. From behind. Both times. Not to mention Rivers hasn’t had a real “home game” in 2 years. It doesn’t matter who’s running routes, or who’s blocking in front of him this year. Rivers just has this team winning games. Rivers is your MVP.
I never doubted Mike Williams
Ok, not really. But he is making me into one hell of a believer. Keenan Allen went down early tonight and Mike Williams stepped up exactly how you would expect from a guy drafted 7th overall. He was attacking the ball at the highest point, he was making great catches, he was running good routes, he was using his size and strength to bully defenders both before and after the catch. He wound up with 8 touches for 95 total yards and 3 total touchdowns. We all hope Keenan Allen winds up being ok, but Mike Williams just completely picked up the slack and probably more importantly, just established a TON of trust and confidence between himself and Rivers.
The road to the Super Bowl is going to go through a 27k seat Soccer Stadium
The Chargers still need to win their last 2 games, and the Chiefs still need to lose one more (either on the road in Seattle or at home against the Raiders), but it could happen. For all of you that are still bitter from the move, I don’t know how you can’t root for that to happen. Think about how satisfying it will be to see Dean and the League embarrassed when they are forced to host at least one, and probably 2 playoff games, including an AFC Championship, in a stadium that seats less than 30k fans. Or possibly more embarrassing, force the Chargers to play “home” playoff games in a different stadium so they can sell more tickets. Or if you’re still just a fan of the Chargers, how amazing is it that the Chargers can now realistically taste the division championship and #1 seed.
This Defense is ELITE
The Chargers defense, without either of the 2 interior defensive linemen projected to start before the season (Corey Liuget and Brandon Mebane), without Denzel Perryman at LB, and without Trevor Williams who started the season as CB2, just held the #1 offense in the NFL to under 300 Net Yards of offense and 28 points. Kansas City had been averaging 437.5 yards of offense and 36.2 points per game this season. Patrick Mahomes has only been held to less than 260 yards passing 3 times this season. 2 of those times were by this Chargers defense. This defense could still use a replacement for Jahleel Addae, a true NT, and maybe some help at ILB (although getting Kyzir White back could be at least a large part of that answer), and another solid corner. But even with that being the case, this Defense is putting the Chargers in position to win games time and time again.
Chargers don’t have an RB2
They have RB1, RB1A, RB1B, and RB1C. Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson, and Detrez Newsome are all starting quality running backs. Obviously Melvin Gordon is having an amazing season and has definitely established himself as the RB1 on this team. But the 3 guys behind him are all so capable, and versatile, that the offense doesn’t have to panic if Gordon isn’t available for a few weeks during the season. Yes it definitely helps that Rivers is playing like the league MVP this season, and that the defense is playing at an elite level. But you have to give Tom Telesco and his staff credit for finding this stable of backs, and Anthony Lynn and his staff for recognizing what they have in these guys and keeping them around.