Last week, nobody on the Arrowhead Pride staff saw the 35-32 loss to the Tennessee Titans coming. Every one of us saw the Kansas City Chiefs winning the game by at least a touchdown — and seven of us thought the Chiefs would win by more than three touchdowns! With Patrick Mahomes returning for the game, our readers thought pretty much the same thing. 95% predicted a Chiefs victory and 65% thought it would be a blowout.
Let’s see what our contributors — and our readers — think about the Week 11 game between the Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers in Mexico City.
Tom Childs (@tomchilds56)
Los Chiefs necesitan una gran victoria para volver a encarrilar su temporada. El señor Mahomes iluminará el escenario internacional. ¿A qué hora juega Shakira? Chiefs 27, Chargers 20
John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)
The Chiefs have a good offense and a so-so defense. The Chargers are the opposite: a good defense and a so-so offense. Generally, that would mean this won’t be a high-scoring game. And since it’s a division game, it’s likely to be close — which means much will depend on what the quarterbacks do late in the game. My money has to be on Mahomes there. Chiefs 23, Chargers 20
Ethan Douglas (@ChiefsAnalytics)
This Chiefs team has been as frustrating as it has confusing lately. This game is in Mexico City, which makes it even harder to predict. Just have to go with Vegas on this one. Chiefs 27, Chargers 24
Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)
This game will come down to a few individual matchups. Los Angeles has Melvin Gordon back, and his backfield partner Austin Ekeler is a dangerous receiving weapon against the struggling Chiefs linebackers in coverage. On the other side, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram will be taking advantage of that left tackle spot if Fisher isn’t back. I think the Chiefs do enough to get a win, but those Chargers players could flip this with a few big plays. Chiefs 27, Chargers 24
Matt Lane (@ChiefinCarolina)
The Chiefs got knocked on their backside by the Titans last week — it quite simply was a game that had no business being close, let alone a loss. It’s about the third time this year the Chiefs are being put into a position that they can rebound, and this is the one that finally sticks against another bad football team. When the Chargers have the ball, the Chiefs have to play their wide receivers much better than they did last year in their second meeting. Charvarius Ward and Bashaud Breeland have to be good at the catch point when the Chargers start trying to press them vertically again. When the Chiefs have the ball, they should look to push the ball vertically against the Chargers’ Cover 3 and flood the thirds of the field with multiple routes. Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman should find a lot of success on over routes and working underneath one another. The final game leading into the bye week will see the Chiefs operating near their ceiling and get them back in the national media spotlight. Chiefs 34, Chargers 20
Robert Rimpson (@RRimpsanity)
The Chiefs and Chargers are two of the most wildly inconsistent teams in the NFL right now. With that being said, I think there is one key to this matchup that I think will decide the game. Philip Rivers is not a mobile quarterback. The Chiefs’ most significant struggles this season have been against quarterbacks that can make plays on their feet, and Rivers is not one of them. Deshaun Watson, Jacoby Brissett, even Ryan Tannehill made possibly the biggest play of the game last week using his feet. The health of the offensive line, the Chiefs’ ability to hang on to the ball, the play on defense are all bigger factors in what happens Monday, but Rivers’ lack of mobility is the only thing I can be sure of in this game. Chiefs 28 Chargers 21
Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)
It’s not easy to predict the Chiefs right now. It’s like playing NFL whack-a-mole. Think the offense can carry the team? Whack! 2/3 of the offensive line gets hurt and the top two running backs fumble in key moments. Think the run defense is fixed? Whack! Derrick Henry. Think the cornerbacks are better? Whack! They struggle against Tennessee’s wide receivers. So... against the Chargers... no idea. The Chiefs have been great against the division but terrible on prime time. This game could be a blowout or a close loss. So, I’ll just go with a close win. Chiefs 35, Chargers 31
Craig Stout (@barleyhop)
This Chiefs team is pissed off after dropping a winnable game against an inferior team. Coupled with a divisional matchup that they need to win IN PRIMETIME, this game will be all gas, no brakes. The Chargers have talent on both sides of the ball, but make a few mistakes — including Phillip Rivers throwing multiple interceptions. The Chiefs offense clicks, and Mahomes puts on a show. Chiefs win a game that isn’t as close as the score indicates. Chiefs 35, Chargers 27
Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson)
I’m a curse. Anytime I comment “Chiefs by 1,000” on a Mahomes walk-in video. Anytime I predict Matt Moore playing the fourth. Anytime I feel good about the game really. We’re testing it out. This week, no analysis. Just superstition. Got to break this juju. Chargers 1,000, Chiefs 0
Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)
The Chiefs containing Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is a significant concern for me, since the Chiefs gave up 188 rushing yards to Derrick Henry the same week that Gordon recorded his first 100-plus-rushing yards game of the season. If the Chiefs set the tone early, handling Gordon and Austin Ekeler, I think Patrick Mahomes takes care of the rest. It helps that Mahomes should have his original offensive line protecting him on Monday night. Chiefs 35, Chargers 28
Joel Thorman (@JoelThorman)
The Chiefs have been up and down for a few weeks, and we have reasons we can point to, notably the injuries to Patrick Mahomes. Now that he’s healthy, the Chiefs will show how good this offense really is. Chiefs roll the Chargers. Chiefs 38, Chargers 24
Which team wins the Chiefs-Chargers game?
This poll is closed
Chiefs in a blowout
Chiefs in a close game
Chargers in a close game
Chargers in a blowout
Ties in the standings are broken with prediction points error — how much each prediction misses the actual point spread and the number of points scored by each team.
The AP staff’s composite prediction of the Chiefs-Titans game wasn’t the worst of the season — but it was close. The 37.5-15.7 victory the staff expected — a point spread of nearly 22 — carried 49.6 points of error. The Week 5 prediction for the game against the Colts was a little worse at 51.3.
While no member of the staff picked the right winner, a couple of them at least predicted a closer game. Robert Rimpson’s call for a 31-24 Chiefs win had the closest point spread (and was in the same ball park as the final score), which resulted in 22 points of error. John Dixon had 38 points of error in his prediction of a 30-16 Chiefs win.