Lombardi on if there’s ‘an urgency to score’ when playing the Chiefs:
Joe Lombardi on Preparing for the Chiefs
“For sure. It’s one of our keys this week, we have to be efficient in the red zone. It’s a key every week, but when you’re playing a team like the Chiefs, you don’t want to trade field goals for touchdowns. It’s going to be really important that we get that ball in the end zone.”
Kansas City Chiefs 36-31 Los Angeles Chargers
ML: +250 · 1-1
WHERE: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City)
WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | CBS
SPREAD: Chargers +6.5 | O/U: 54.5
Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes are the two quarterbacks I want facing third-and-long. They’re the two quarterbacks I want if my team is trailing. Combine those traits with a Chiefs defense giving up 6 yards per carry and over 10 yards per attempt through the air, and there’s a recipe here for another heart-stopping, high-scoring finish. The Chiefs have made a habit of winning those games, and the Chargers, well, they should keep it closer than six and a half points!
Los Angeles Chargers (+6.5) at Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Chargers +7
The Chargers and Chiefs both lost tough games last week, so they are tied in the division behind Denver and Las Vegas. That makes this an early big game. The Chiefs defense looked bad against the Ravens. The Chargers have played Patrick Mahomes well in recent years and I think that plays out in this one. The Chargers will keep it close, but Kansas City wins it late.
Pick: Chiefs 30, Chargers 27
Mike Sando of The Athletic did the math on the starting lineups for every NFL team through the regular season’s first two weeks. He came away with a surprising realization: no team has fielded younger starting lineups to start the season than the K.C. Chiefs.
In some way, it’s not surprising to know that the Chiefs skewed younger than others. The team has a young core just growing into their Super Bowl window around Patrick Mahomes, who is now beyond his rookie deal and entering his prime at the age of 26. However, that the Chiefs skew that young is something else.
Time for the Next Man Up
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs
Edwards-Helaire has been one of the biggest disappointments in fantasy after being drafted in the first round by Kansas City in 2020. Since his breakout debut against the Texans last season, CEH has averaged about 54 rushing yards, 23 receiving yards, three catches, and 0.2 rushing touchdowns per game. He’s been the RB28 during that span (on 12.1 PPR points per contest) despite being drafted as a top-15 back each of the past two seasons. He also has by far the worst rushing grade among any running back in PFF’s system this season.
The production—and perhaps the talent—simply isn’t there to justify Edwards-Helaire as the set-it-and-forget-it starter he was expected to be.
As for playing on the road, the Chargers’ offense will be just fine in Arrowhead. Their offensive line is weak at right tackle, but who will rush over him for the Chiefs? Chris Jones possibly, but you can provide help to the right tackle in that case.
One specific spot I feel Los Angeles can attack Kansas City is at their offensive tackle positions. The Chargers have Joey Bosa, whose win percentage ranks 6th amongst edge rushers.
On the flip side, if the Chiefs decide to attack the poor Chargers run defense, they will do so with a rushing attack that’s not very good right now.
In the end, I see the Chiefs winning but the Chargers covering.
PICK: Los Angeles (+6.5 at FOX Bet) to lose by fewer than 6.5 points (or win outright)
Round 1 Pick 32
Myjai Sanders DL
The Chiefs desperately need more edge-rushing help, and Sanders has all the tools to be a double-digit sack guy in the NFL.
Around the NFL
The injuries, confirmed by coach Matt Rhule, soured a night that saw the Panthers beat the Texans 24-9 to move to 3-0 for just the fifth time in team history.
Rhule said the team doesn’t know the severity of McCaffrey’s injury. The star running back will undergo additional tests.
Quarterback Sam Darnold said he talked to McCaffrey after the game and described him as “sad.’’ Darnold also had a message for McCaffrey, believing he’ll be back this season.
“Just that I’m thinking of him and to take his time,’’ he said. “We’ll be all right without him. Obviously, we want him back. But I want him to take his time and make sure he’s good for the end of the season.’’
No. 3: Can the Rams cement themselves as NFC contenders?
It was unquestionably a disappointing 2020 for the Los Angeles Rams, but thus far the decision to trade for Matthew Stafford is paying huge dividends for the team. Stafford’s deep passing is pairing well with the Rams violent defense and turning the team into a potential powerhouse.
That said, huge questions linger. Los Angeles has really lacked a statement game following wins over the Bears and Colts, which are no slouches, but in Week 3 the Buccaneers pose a serious threat.
This really could be an NFC Championship preview, and how the Rams cope with a top-tier opponent will go a long way to deciding this.
DK Metcalf believes opponents are trying to bait him into losing his cool, even more often than they did during his 2020 Pro Bowl season.
And the Seattle Seahawks wide receiver says he has to do a better job of not biting.
“For sure,” Metcalf said Thursday, when asked if defenders are trying to take him out of his game by getting in his head. “They can’t stop me any other way or stop Tyler [Lockett] any other way. So the best thing they can do is just try to talk stuff to me.”
Or, as he more colorfully put it when asked what teams are doing differently against him in Year 3: “Talking s---. That’s it.”
“The interesting thing I think there — and this is just me, an outsider looking in — it was like Bill never really... I think his emotions or feelings never evolved with age,” Guerrero told the Herald. “I think in time, with Tom, as Tom got into his late 30s or early 40s, I think Bill was still trying to treat him like that 20-year-old kid that he drafted. And all the players, I think, realized Tom was different.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
According to Pro Football Focus, Sorensen leads the league in missed tackles at nine. The next players league-wide are both Minnesota Vikings: old friend Bashaud Breeland and linebacker Eric Kendricks.
Those players have six apiece, three fewer misses than Sorensen.
“What I think that is with Dan is just a little bit coming under control,” said Spagnuolo. “The one thing we love about Dan is he’s not going to miss a tackle being soft — that’s not a bad thing... I’d have to go back, but I’m almost certain the same thing happened to Dan last year.
“No preseason games, come out for the first two games — I remember the missed tackles were there last year, too. And Dan became really one of our consistent, most aggressive tacklers. We’re not ready to panic on that right now, and I know he’s not.”
A tweet to make you think
We are excited to highlight a number of construction, renovation and fan experience enhancements that have been made at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium for the 2021 season.— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 23, 2021