Two high-powered teams take center stage as the Kansas City Chiefs host the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night Football. This is a game that will surely not disappoint as Amazon’s first prime time game. Here are my three keys to victory for the Los Angeles Chargers
Establish the run
The run game for the Chargers was virtually nonexistent this past week against the Las Vegas Raiders. Head Coach Brandon Staley went with a committee of running backs last week with lead back Austin Ekeler taking most of the snaps at 49%. While this can be a good strategy to keep your backs fresh, the Chargers averaged a meager 2.5 yards per carry. It is important that the Bolts establish the run early in order to open the air attack for Justin Herbert against a weak Chiefs secondary.
Create pressure with the front four
Something the Chargers did very well last week was creating pressure on Derek Carr which resulted in a 6 sack, 4 turnovers showing. The Chiefs Offensive Line is significantly stouter than the Raiders, and they have a much more mobile Quarterback. The Chargers need to continue to use multiple looks on their defensive line and open pass rush lanes for their elite pass rushers. In their last two meetings, the Chargers have managed to turn the ball over six times because of the pressure put on Mahomes.
Contain Travis Kelce
Travis Kelce has already established himself as one of the greatest Tight Ends in NFL history. He has posted an insane six straight 1000 yard seasons. Chargers Safety Derwin James needs to be a huge part of that coverage plan. In their last meeting, James left the game early due to an injury that kept him sidelined for the rest of the game. According to Pro Football Focus, before leaving the game, Kelce had 1 catch for 14 yards on 22 snaps. Once the All-Pro was off the field, Kelce unleashed and caught 9 catches for 177 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 30 snaps. James’s health and the rest of the defense stepping up so that James can lock Kelce down will be crucial if the Chargers want to win.
In the last four meetings, the Chargers are 2-2 against the Chiefs. Both wins coming out of Arrowhead stadium leaving Quarterback Justin Herbert with an undefeated record in one of the most hostile environments in the sport. The game is scheduled to kick off on Thursday night at 8:20 ET, on Amazon Prime.
Check out my players of the week for the Chargers in week 1! https://gridironheroics.com/los-angeles-chargers-players-of-the-week/
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