Later, Jamie will give you three reasons the Los Angeles Chargers would win when they play host to the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend. For now, we will address three reasons the Chargers will instead lose their home opener.
Last year, Kareem Hunt rushed for 1,327 yards and 8 touchdowns. He rushed for 327 of those yards and 2 of those touchdowns in only two games against the Chargers. Hunt is one of the NFL’s premier talents at the running back position, and the Chargers defense (while strong overall) is porous against the run. They were one of the worst rushing defenses last year and they will be short on depth this weekend in part because Corey Liuget is starting the season off with a 4-game suspension. Overall, Hunt vs. Chargers run defense is just a really bad matchup for the home team.
The Chargers will be without their best player on Sunday because Bosa has been ruled out with a foot injury. The Chargers have a very talented defense, but a good chunk of that defense is young and another chunk of it is returning from injury after missing a good bit of the preseason. That is a unit that was really counting on its great pass rushing duo in Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Now, they will have to rely on Ingram and a rookie in Uchenna Nwosu to take pressure of a secondary that will be dealing with the likes of Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins.
The Chiefs tight end, nicknamed Zeus or Baby Gronk (which he hates) depending on who you’re talking to, is one of the elite tight ends in the NFL. The Chargers have a strong secondary, but most of that strength can be found on the boundaries at the cornerback position. Kelce will most likely draw Kyzir White or Derwin James in coverage. Both of those players are athletic, skilled, and have already shown great promise, but they are also rookies who will be playing in their first real NFL games. Covering Travis Kelce is a trial by fire that nobody would envy. It is hard to picture a version of this game where Kelce doesn’t make multiple big plays, and it will be a bit of an upset if he does not find the end zone.