The defending Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs head to California to take on the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday afternoon at the SoFi stadium.
Both teams are coming off week 1 wins. The Chiefs opened their title defense with a 34-20 win over the Houston Texans last Thursday. On the other hand, the Chargers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 16-13 win in their season opener. Kansas City won both of their head to head games last season and covered the spread in both games. This is the first division game for both teams and this is also the Chargers’ first game in their new home- the SoFi Stadium.
The Kansas City Chiefs picked up where they left off last season as they defeated the Houston Texans 34-20 last week to open their title defense. But while the Chiefs got another virtuoso performance from Patrick Mahomes, it was the play of two rookies that led to their Thursday win.
First-round draft pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire from LSU rushed for a league-best 138 yards with one touchdown on 25 carries. On the other hand, fourth-round selection L’Jarius Sneed started at cornerback with Bashaud Breeland serving a four-game suspension. Sneed got the first interception of his career and set up Kansas City’s final touchdown Undrafted rookie punter Tommy Townsend also had a good game with an over 45 yards average on his three punts.
Mahomes threw for 211 yards with three touchdowns on a 75% completion. Sammy Watkins caught seven out of nine passes for 82 yards with one touchdown. Tight end Travis Kelce caught six passes for 50 yards with a score while wideout Tyreek Hill had five catches for 46 yards and a score. Tyrann Mathieu led the team in defense with eight tackles, including six solo tackles. Chris Jones also had 1.5 sacks for Kansas City.
The Los Angeles Chargers pulled off a 16-13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in their opening game of the season. Bengals kicker Randy Bullock missed a game-tying 31-yard field goal attempt with two seconds left in the fourth period. Bullock cramped on his approach and the field goal missed badly. The win was an accomplishment for the Chargers who were 2-9 last seasons in games decided by one score or less.
The game marked the first time that the Chargers opened the season minus Philip Rivers. Tyrod Taylor was the starting QB for the Chargers and he was just mediocre. Taylor completed 16 out of 30 passes for 208 yards with no touchdown. Despite unimpressive numbers, Taylor did not turn the ball over and that helped in a close game. Austin Ekeler had 84 rushing yards on 19 carries. Joshua Kelley rushed for 60 yards with one touchdown while Hunter Henry had five catches for 73 yards.
On defense, the Charges had two takeaways, one fumble, and one interception. They held Cincinnati to 295 total yards, 84 of which came in the Bengals’ final drive. Casey Hayward Jr. was the star of the defense 12 solo tackles, the second-best total in the league, and also had two passes defended.
Kansas City is 10-0 SU in their last 10 games played. The Chiefs are 6-1 SU in their last seven games played and 7-0 SU in their last seven games against the AFC West Division. Los Angeles is 2-6 SU in their last eight games played. The Chargers are 2-6 SU in their last eight games against the American Football Conference and 0-6 SU in their last six games against the AFC West Division. Head to head, the Chiefs are 9-1 SU in their last 10 games played against the Chargers.
The Chiefs are coming off an impressive win over the Texans. They are the #1 team in many Power Rankings heading to week 2 and I don’t think they are in danger of falling out of that spot after this game. Mahomes looked effortless last week while rookie Clyde-Edwards Helaire played like he’s been in Andy Reid’s system for years with an impressive 138 rushing yards.
The Chargers’ defense was ranked 6th in the NFL last season and they brought that defense against Joe Burrow and the Bengals last week, holding this year’s top rookie to only 193 passing yards in his debut. But after Melvin Gordon and Phillip Rivers left, the Chargers didn’t replace them with marquee names and instead settled for Tyrod Taylor and Austin Ekeler.
I like the Chargers’ defense to challenge Mahomes and the offense. But without a decent offensive game, I don’t think that Los Angeles can keep up with Kansas City here. The Chiefs will outgun the Chargers in another double-digit win.
Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City is 10-0 SU in their last 10 games played. The Chiefs are 8-0 ATS in their last eight games played against the AFC. Los Angeles is 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games played. The Chargers are 1-5 ATS in their last six games played at home. Head to head, the Chiefs are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against the Chargers. Kansas City is also 6-0 ATS in their last six road games against the L.A. Chargers.
8.5 points look too much to give a home team in the NFL. But remember that the Chargers were bailed out against the Bengals as that missed field goal by Cincinnati is the only reason why the Bolts are 1-0 right now. Los Angeles played poorly in the first three quarters and they can’t play the same way against the champs. Kansas City looked good against Houston and if the Chargers are off to a slow start here, there won’t be an opportunity to stage a comeback. Not with the Chiefs. Kansas City has covered the spread in their last 10 games and their average winning margin during that period is 15.4 points. Good luck to the Chargers in stopping this well-oiled championship machine.
Prediction: Chiefs -8.5
The total has gone over in four out of the last five games played by the Chiefs. The over is 7-1 in Kansas City’s last eight games played in the month of September. The total has gone over in four out of the last six games played by the Chargers. Los Angeles has seen the total go over in 11 out of their last 14 games in week 2. Head to head, the total has gone over in three out of the last four meetings between these two teams.
No question that the Chiefs have an outstanding offense and a prolific quarterback in Patrick Mahomes. However, the Chargers aren’t the right dance partner if you want the total to hit over. The Chargers scored only 16 points against the Bengals but they played good defense and forced a couple of turnovers. Tyrod Taylor should find himself in trouble hereafter the Chiefs had four sacks against the Texans. If the Chargers don’t get Pouncey and Turner back to their offensive line, they will find it hard to score on offense. Sure Mahomes can put up the scores but he won’t go off here because he doesn’t have to in a comfortable win.
Prediction: Under 47.5
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