Kansas City Chiefs (2-0 SU, 2-0-0 PS, 2-0-0 O/U) vs Los Angeles Chargers (0-2 SU, 0-1-1 PS, 1-1-0 O/U)
When: 4:25 PM EDT, Sunday, September 24, 2017
Where: StubHub Center in Carson, California
Lines: Kansas City -3
Today on the NFL gridiron, a pair of AFC West foes will square off as the Kansas City Chiefs grapple with the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center in Carson, California. The Chiefs come in off a nice 27-20 win over Philadelphia at home, while the Chargers are off a tough 19-17 home loss to the Dolphins. The Chiefs won both meetings between these teams last year.
Chiefs Hold On To Beat The Eagles
The Kansas City Chiefs are off to a strong 2-0 start and have to be considered as one of the surprises in the league in the early going. They started their year with a huge 15 points road win over the heavily favored New England Patriots and then followed that up with a 27-20 win over the Eagles at home last week. The game was tied 13-13 in the 4th and then the Chiefs built a 27-13 lead with just 2:14 left in the game. The Eagles then marched down and scored with just eight seconds left and then got the onside kick. They were not able to connect on the hail mary and the Chiefs escaped with a hard-fought win. The Chiefs have not played well on defense so far as they are 29th in the league in yards allowed, giving up 388.5 ypg and they allowed 406 total yards to the Eagles. They are also 27th against the pass, allowing 273 ypg (299 to Philly), but that shows that stats can lie as the Chiefs are still 2-0 on the year.
The reason has been their offense and in particular, the play of Alex Smith, who is really looking to shed the moniker of being a game manager. Smith threw for 251 yards and a TD against the Eagles and has now thrown for 619 yards with five TDs and no INTs through two games while composing a QBR of 134.1 so far. Travis Kelce had a big game against the Eagles as he caught eight passes for 103 yards and a TD, while Kareem Hunt had another solid game with 81 yards rushing and TDs. He now has 355 combined yards this year with five TDs already. The offense ranks 2nd in the league in total yards at 440.5 ypg. Do not sleep on the Chiefs as they look for real.
Another Close Loss For The Chargers
They may be in a new city, but are having the same results. Last year the Bolts were just 1-8 in games decided by seven points or less and 1-4 in games decided by three points or less and they after two games this year they lost by three and two points. They just can’t seem to win the close games and until they do, they will not be apart of the playoff conversation. In their opener, they lost by three points at Denver and they followed it up with a tough 19-17 loss last week at home to the Dolphins. The Chargers led most of the game until the Dolphins went ahead with 1:05 left in the game on a 54 yard FG from Cody Parkey. San Diego then got into FG range but Younghoe Koo missed a 43 yard FG and that was that. It was the 2nd game in a row that he had a chance to tie or win it at the end and blew it. The Chargers may be in the market for a new kicker soon.
Philip Rivers had a very good game as he hit 31 of 39 passes for 331 yards and a TD and he is so glad to have back Keenan Allen, who was lost for the season in game one last year. Allen caught nine passes for 100 yards in the loss to Miami. The Chargers need their running game to improve after rushing for just 44 yards in the loss to Miami with Branden Oliver leading them with 31 yards and Melvin Gordon chipping in with just 13. Antonio Gates had just two catches for 11 yards, but one of them was for a TD and that put him at the top of the all-time list for most TDs by a tight end. He now has 112, breaking the record of 111 set by Tony Gonzalez. The passing game is ranked 9th in the league at 254 ypg so far. The defense has not been great, but it hasn’t been horrible either. It will be tested by a very good and surprising Chief’s offense.
Kansas City is:
- 1-7 ATS in their last eight games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game
Los Angeles is:
- 11-4-2 ATS in their last 17 games in September
This is always an intense battle when these two teams hookup and this one should be no different. Last year, the Chargers were just 1-8 in games decided by seven points or less and they haven’t figured out how to win the close games this year as their first two losses have been by three and two points. The Chiefs have been a surprise in the early going and they already have a road win over the Patriots on their resume. The Chiefs may be the better team here, but I feel that the Chargers can finally get their first win of the year as they learn how to win a close game. Rivers has a passing game that can do damage against the secondary of the Chiefs and the Los Angeles defense looks far stronger than it was a year ago. I look for the Bolts to get in the win column in this one.
Pick: Los Angeles +3
The Chiefs are a pass-happy team now? Boy how the times have changed. They have been a ground and pound team for years and while they still do want to establish the run, they have really opened up the playbook so far and Alex Smith has proven that he is not just a game manager. He hates being called that. The Chargers have a better defense than last year, but their weakness is still their secondary and I look for Smith to have some success against it. The Chiefs have struggled on defense so far this year and the Bolts have a passing game that can take advantage of that. Rivers has a lot of weapons, including Keenan Allen, who was lost for the year a season ago after game one. Last year the teams put up 60 and 64 points and I don’t see why this one can’t hit at least 50 points. Take the Over.