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Chiefs Chargers: Time, Stream, How you can Watch, Key Matchups, Picks for ‘Thursday Night time Soccer’ Week 2

On this week’s version of “Thursday Night time Soccer,” we have now a blockbuster matchup of two of the league’s greatest groups —- every broadly anticipated to be the most effective division within the NFL. Each the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers opened their season with wins in opposition to high quality opponents, and now they head into what ought to show to be one of many extra productive early video games of the 12 months.

The winner of this recreation takes the early lead within the AFC West and thus secures a race for one of many convention’s prime seeds. These two groups performed some thrilling video games a 12 months in the past, with the Chargers successful the early season matchup due to aggressive decision-making and large performs, whereas the Chiefs got here out on prime in an additional time recreation late within the 12 months.

Which squad will attain a division lead early? We’ll discover out quickly sufficient. Earlier than we break down the match, here is how one can watch the sport.

How you can watch

Date: Thursday, September 15 | interval: 8:15 p.m. ET
location: GEHA Discipline at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas Metropolis, Missouri)
Stream:
Amazon Prime Video
TV: Test native market listings
Observe: The CBS Sports activities app
Disadvantages: Heads -4, O/U 54

When the Chargers have the ball

The Chargers might be with out Keenan Allen for many of their Week 1 win over the Raiders. In the meantime, the Chiefs might be with out rookie cornerback Trent McDuffie — who was pitching nicely in opposition to the Cardinals earlier than leaving with an damage of his personal.

McDuffie’s absence might be a dimension and bodily drawback for Kansas Metropolis’s prime cornerback, who’s 6-foot-4 and 218 kilos in comparison with Justin Herbert’s prime remaining goal Mike Williams, Rashad Fenton’s 5-11, 188 and L’Jarius. will go 6-0, 189. Herbert did not goal Williams closely in Week 1, and the Los Angeles sign caller as an alternative unfold the ball round to all of his gamers: Williams, Allen, Joshua Palmer, DeAndre Carter, Gerald Everett, Tre’ McKitty, and Austin Ekeler tied for the group lead with 4 targets apiece.

This type of unfold is feasible due to Herbert’s means to shoot absolute laser beams throughout the sector. He is a uncommon expertise (like quarterbacks on the opposite facet of this matchup) in that he can flip targets of disparate ability ranges into equally harmful threats, and he is in a position to join on throws he actually should not.

Nonetheless, the dimensions benefit of Palmer, Everett and McKitty over Williams and, to a lesser extent, the Chiefs ought to enable Herbert to suit the ball into tight home windows — as a result of he can (and can) belief them to provide you with contested catches. Kansas Metropolis’s protection was superb in Week 1 in opposition to Arizona, the highest Cardinals wideout — Thirteenth-lowest of 74 receivers focused — based on NFL.com’s Subsequent Gen Stats — and tight ends. Marquise Brown averaged simply 2.2 yards per carry. 5 or extra instances. Brown averaged 3.3 and three.5 yards per carry the earlier two seasons, indicating that this might be a stickier protection (and presumably Arizona’s offensive scheme) than an lack of ability to separate.

The Los Angeles offensive line held up nicely in opposition to an excellent Raiders cross rush in Week 1. Herbert obtained good strain, however solely needed to fumble as soon as, went with no sack and was sacked simply twice on 35 dropbacks. . Kansas Metropolis’s cross rush is not practically as scary as Las Vegas’, so Herbert should not fear an excessive amount of about having time to throw on this matchup. It goes extra into whether or not Steve Spagnuolo and firm can discover a solution to generate strain with out giving up too many our bodies on the again finish, thereby making the throwing lanes wider than they must be. Chris Jones is among the greatest cross rushers the Chiefs have, however the Chargers actually bolster issues in entrance of Herbert with the mixture of Matt Feiler, Corey Linsley and rookie Zion Johnson.

Austin Eckler performed simply 49% of Los Angeles’ offensive snaps in Week 1, however he was the one Chargers again to realize 47 yards on 13 whole touchdowns, in comparison with his 13 carries and 4 receptions. it was. Joshua Kelley and Sony Michel. Perhaps rookie Isaiah Spiller might be a greater praise to Ekeler when he will get on the sector, however proper now, LA would possibly have to get him again into the 60-70% snaps vary — particularly in a matchup like this to maintain tempo with one of many extra explosive offenses within the league. Might have to attain every drive.

When the Chiefs have the ball

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Patrick Mahomes usually confronted 5 or extra dashing touchdowns final season on the lowest charge within the NFL (11.3% vs. league common of 25.3%, with the subsequent closest certified passer at 20.3%). Some other passer in Week 1. The Cardinals despatched further our bodies on 22 of his 41 dropbacks — a 53.7% charge. The league common for season starters was simply 23.7%, with Jalen Hurts (40.9%) and Trevor Lawrence (40%) the one QBs blitzed at the very least 40%. The technique did not repay as Mahomes accomplished 15 of 21 makes an attempt for 137 yards and 4 touchdowns with zero sacks, regardless of Arizona being pressured on 11-of-22.

Within the first 12 months of the Brandon Staley period, the Chargers misplaced at nearly precisely the league common charge. In addition they hovered round that vary of their two video games in opposition to the Chiefs, sending strain on 22% and 24% of Mahomes’ dropbacks. (Mahomes went 15-of-21 for 264 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and one sack on these performs.) They turned the blitz ratio barely in opposition to the Raiders in Week 1, sending 5 or extra passers on 16.3% of the performs. passing by

Regardless of coming away with six sacks, it is price noting that the Chargers generated strain at a below-average charge in Week 1, getting a sack, hit or a rush 28% of the time in comparison with Derek Carr’s league common of 33%. Season openers. That is regardless of boasting an elite edge rush duo in Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack, who accounted for 9 of the group’s 16 whole pressures and 4.5 of six sacks. Having the ability to get to the quarterback with out sending further rushers is maybe extra necessary in opposition to Mahomes than any quarterback within the league, as he beats blitzes with completely lethal accuracy.

It isn’t like sitting on the quilt is a greater proposition. Mahomes posted the league’s highest EPA in opposition to non-blitz performs in Week 1, finishing 15 of 18 passes for 223 yards and a landing with no single sack. He did not power something, proving he was content material to let the likes of Travis Kelce, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdez-Scantlin and Mecole Hardman work their checks and get quick passes over the center. Smith-Schuster, particularly, was introduced in particularly to assault some of these conditions, and Mahomes discovered him in comfortable spots repeatedly all through the primary half.

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With Jaycee Jackson nonetheless out for the Chargers, it is going to be fascinating to see how Staley makes use of Derwin James as a chess piece on this matchup. He’s so versatile that he can do something. Does he discuss to Kelce usually? Will he play within the slot to attempt to get a few of Smith-Schuster’s stuff up the center? If he is in Kelce, the Chargers have Asante Samuel Jr. Can the likes rely — superb however on the small facet in comparison with Kansas Metropolis’s huge new-look vast receiver room — and does Michael Davis match? If Los Angeles needs to make use of, Mahomes has a lot shell protection with defenses that power him to run everywhere in the area — and that works in opposition to an offense that is designed to run — you level out that you’ll drop a protection down and hit you excessive. Is it doable?

With Clyde Edwards-Helaire wanting higher than he did in his first two NFL seasons, the Chiefs ran the ball pretty nicely in Week 1 in opposition to Arizona. (Each CEH and Jerick McKinnon have discovered success behind this superb line.) The Raiders additionally ran the ball with some success in opposition to LA, gaining 5 or extra yards on 46.2% of their dashing makes an attempt. The Chargers’ lack of ability to cease the run harm them so usually final 12 months that they devoted a bunch of free agent cash this offseason to fixing the issue. The Kansas Metropolis offensive line ought to nonetheless have a very good benefit within the run recreation right here, and utilizing it a bit extra usually than anticipated might be a solution to maintain the Chargers cross rush off steadiness.

Prediction: Chiefs 33, Chargers 30

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