It’s been a minute since we’ve had a healthy open discussion to start the day so I’m throwing one out there this morning.
Plenty of Chargers will be important in this week’s matchup against the reigning Super Bowl Champions but one player stands out to me the most: rookie linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr.
As Anthony Lynn likes to call him, Murray is a “run-and-hit” linebacker with tremendous speed and range. However, he didn’t do a whole lot when it came to covering tight ends and slot receivers at the collegiate level. Through one game in the NFL, he’s already done a bit of both. This week, he’ll likely be asked to do the same.
But that’s where my worry starts to arise. Andy Reid is a devilish play-caller and he can put even the best defenders in a blender. Murray showed some promise against Cincy, but he had his expected rookie bumps and bruises. On one play, he sniffed out a WR screen and was on the ball carrier two yards behind the line of scrimmage, but he whiffed the tackle. On another, the Bengals used play action and Murray passed off a crossing tight end to no one, not realizing he was the backside linebacker with the responsibility of covering that exact route.
Murray is going to have to grow up fast before facing Mahomes on Sunday, that’s for sure. He doesn’t need to be Superman, but he’s got to have his head on straight if the Chargers don’t want to get run out of their new stadium in their first game at home.
Let me know who else you believe to be a key player in this week’s matchup. It can be anyone at all. Let us know in the comments.
And now for today’s links.
How to watch Chiefs @ Chargers (Chargers.com)
Tracy Wolfson on the latest Playmakers podcast (Chargers.com)
Jason Reed highlights the Chargers rising in various power rankings (Bolt Beat)
Gavino Borquez discusses how the Bolts need to be on top of turnovers against KC (Chargers Wire)
Paul Gutierrez writes about the first game at Las Vegas’ new ‘Death Star’ stadium (ESPN)
ESPN Staff ranks the best stadiums in the NFL (ESPN)
Darrelle Revis tells a crazy story about former HC Rex Ryan (Bleacher Report)
The NFL announced the latest Hall of Fame nominees for the 2021 class (Bleacher Report)
Start ‘em and Sit ‘em for fantasy week two (CBS Sports)
CB Richard Sherman is headed to the IR (Pro Football Talk)