The last time San Diego played Kansas City, it was the season opener and a lot of Chargers fans had high hopes for the 2016 season.
But due to injuries, shaky quarterback play, and awful coaching, this 2016 season has been a huge disappointment for the Chargers.
The season reached a new low on Christmas Eve, as the Bolts lost to the previously winless Cleveland Browns.
This Sunday, the Bolts play host to the playoff-bound Chiefs, in a game that Kansas City needs to win. The Chargers will try to play the spoiler.
Like we have done for the entire season, we will take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the opponents. On a personal note, I want to thank everyone who has read this weekly piece. Without further ado, let’s get to analyzing this Chiefs’ team.
1. Alex Smith
I know he’s limited, and that he doesn’t play an exciting brand of football, but Smith is a winner, and that it’s not debatable. He has the 3rd highest winning percentage among active QBs, just behind future hall of famers Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Alex Smith has proven that there’s still a place in the NFL for a game manager to succeed. The Chargers can expect him to secure the ball and not be a source of turnovers on Sunday. Smith will run the ball if he needs to. He can hurt you with his feet. The Chargers will need to be on the lookout for that.
2. Tyreek Hill
Hill is a player that has recently jumped onto the scene as one of the premier play makers in all of football. He was drafted this past spring in the 5th round out of West Alabama, as his stock fell a bit due to some personal baggage. But on the field, Hill is very dangerous. Last Sunday against Denver, he turned a 10-yard gain into a 65-yard touchdown in the blink of an eye. Look for the Chargers to attempt directional punting while on special teams in order to keep the ball out of Hill’s hands. The speedy offensive player will still get touches on offense and the Chargers have to be aware of him. Denzel Perryman and Jatavis Brown will have their hands full.
Last season Peters was the Defensive Rookie of the Year, and this season he’s played even better. He’s the ultimate ball hawk in the defensive backfield, and has the hands of a wide receiver. He has five interceptions this year, so look for Philip Rivers to avoid his side of the field. Dontrelle Inman and Tyrell Williams are going to have a tough time against this youngster.
1. Outside Receivers
The Chiefs have one of the premier tight ends in Travis Kelce, but in terms of vertical threats, there’s not much to speak of. They brought in Jeremy Maclin a couple of seasons ago, but he has not been the player he was in Philadelphia, and Chris Conley doesn’t strike fear into any corner in the league. The Chargers will look to get Casey Hayward involved to some degree and he could shadow Kelce. We will see.
2. Ron Parker
Kansas City has a deep and talented secondary, but Parker is the weak link of the unit. The strong safety gets out of position way too often, and he’s not good in pass coverage either. So look for Hunter Henry to have a big impact, specially inside the red zone. Antonio Gates needs two touchdowns for an NFL record and he could be featured in the playbook on Sunday.
3. Andy Reid‘s clock management
Reid is a very good coach, and he might even win coach of the year this 2016 season. But he’s terrible at managing the clock at the end of games. He keeps timeouts and passes the ball at times when he should be running the clock out with his running backs. This problem can be an obstacle that may keep the Chiefs from reaching the Super Bowl.
So there you have it. This is the last game of what has been an awful season for Charger fans, and with a motivated Chiefs team needing this game to enhance their playoff position, Sunday will probably be one last tough game for Charger fans to endure.