Well, we didn’t get too long to celebrate our first win of the year. We’re headed to Arrowhead. Mahomes vs Herbert. The best time of the year… Chargers vs Chiefs. Let the show begin. Gone are the years that Andy Reid absolutely had our number, no, now we’re competitive. This could possibly be an AFC Championship preview – or the team that’ll end up facing the Bills. Based on what we’ve seen the past two years Justin Herbert’s been running the show, this should be a fun one.
While the Raiders were certainly a test of our shiny new roster, it doesn’t get more challenging than KC. Luckily, against a running corps even less intimidating than Josh Jacobs & Branden Bolden, our biggest weakness isn’t too much of a worry. Ironically, it’s a battle of two strengths. KC’s passing game, and our passing defense. While we don’t have to account for Tyreek Hill burning us anymore, it’s clear the Chiefs still got it. It’ll be fun, but it’ll also be tough. Tough as hell. And here’s how we can pull it off:
Or, in this case, TE1. Davante Adams had a monster game in Week 1 (10 rec, 141 yards, 1 TD). And, it gave the Raiders’ Offense flow, conversions, and points. If we could’ve shut down Adams, it would’ve been a cakewalk. Later in the second half, we started dialing in on him – but then, Waller emerged. Luckily, the Chiefs don’t have the weapons the Raiders do (Adams, Waller, AND Renfrow) – but the Chiefs do have the best TE in the league. Plus, history goes to show that Kelce LOVES the Chargers. (I think we all remember how the last Thursday matchup ended). If I were Renaldo Hill, I’d tell Derwin James to follow Kelce wherever he goes. Stick on him like glue. Because, quite frankly, there’s no one else who can do the job. No one in the whole league, for that matter.
Capitalize on Charger Stops
Granted, we may not pick Mahomes 3 times like we did Carr, that’s almost a given. Yet, our Defense can at least generate more stops than the Cardinals did. At any rate, the Chargers absolutely BLEW opportunities last week, and it kept the game close. Too close. Had we even gotten field goals off of the empty turnovers, it would’ve been a whole different ball game. Whether we get interceptions, fumble recoveries, or even turnovers on downs – we need to get points out of them. If Staley learned anything from the last time we played the Chiefs – take the points. Don’t get me wrong, I love when he rolls the dice, but you gotta know when to do it. Blind confidence, if that – I don’t even know what it is. There’s no margin for error, and that needs to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
Continue to Bring the Pressure!
We saw what the pressure did in Week 1, so there’s no backstory needed here. However, the Chargers can’t bank on Khalil Mack having another 3 sack game. Furthermore, Mahomes is a lot more mobile than Carr. This is what we invested in. Let’s not forget about Bosa – he’s the main reason Khalil was able to get the single-team matchups. There’s also Joseph-Day. Austin Jackson. Derwin James on blitzes. We’re stacked in this department, and it needs to show. With JC Jackson’s availability still up in the air, we’ll need Asante Samuel Jr, Bryce Callahan, and Mike Davis to step up. Which, we’ve now seen – is doable. The Bolts can’t expect the same results as last game, but the same strategy should bring a W.
Chargers WR Room Needs to Step Up
With Keenan Allen out, we’ll need the role players to go above and beyond. Yet, it’s clearly possible, as they did last week. Plus, with Slay going down, and Mike Dub non-existent, DeAndre Carter suddenly became WR1. And he thrived! While Gerald Everett was, by no means, a star in Week 1 – he did make clutch plays when called on. That’s all we need from a guy like him. Unfortunately, we don’t have many YAC guys (other than Ekeler) – but we do have Herbert. So if these players can run their route, get some separation, and catch it when thrown to – we’ll be fine. That’s the beauty of having an All-World QB like Herbo. However, that luxury can easily go sour when even the most basic of jobs aren’t done. Execute, guys. Make plays. There’s a WR3 spot open when Keenan comes back. Who wants it?
Take Some Shots
What was one of our key identities last year, seemed like it was missing in Week 1. Against a terrible Raiders secondary, too. The Chiefs aren’t much better – especially with first-round pick McDuffie out. There’s no Keenan, but he was never a deep-shot guy anyway. Carter has speed. Guyton can fly. Mike Dub can go up & over. Take advantage of that! Once we get a couple of 15+ yard passes going, it also opens up the door for Ekeler to do his thing in the short game. Hell, even if we don’t convert the deep shots, at least it won’t be the small ball we played last week. Obviously, it wasn’t working, either – that was the frustrating part. Screw it. The Chargers need to get back to what made us good, what made us exciting. We’re going to need to put up points – so let’s act like we want some.
That’s How the Chargers Can Win Week 2
Maybe it’s a lot to ask – but hey, we’re facing one of the best teams in the league. Of course, it’s going to take a lot. But, it’s not out of the question for this team. If we truly want to be on the same level as the big boys, we need to play like it. For the most part, we did in Week 1. Here in Week 2, we’re facing a whole different animal. It’s Mahomes. It’s Reid. It’s Kelce. It wouldn’t take a miracle for us to win. It will take a lot of pressure, some home runs, and a Kelce-less game. The Bolts can do this, and I can’t wait.
A win here would mean more than a 2-0 record, it would mean a well-deserving place among the elites. The investments paying off. The Chargers getting an early lead in the AFC West. BOLT UP, BOYS!