Expect a shootout that is decided by whichever team has the ball last. However, this season could be different, with the Chiefs' offense lagging behind a defense already playing like a top-five unit— with reinforcements coming. These matchups are often decided by a big play or two. Remember the Dexter McCluster punt return, the Andy Studebaker fumble recovery, the Kelce walkoff and the Watson pick-six?
Here are a few who could be trending heading into a predictably unpredictable matchup on Sunday afternoon:
Wide receiver Rashee Rice: The rookie continues to grow, impress and rise up the Market Movers rankings. Last week, he caught all four targets for 72 yards, showing that he's earning the trust of Patrick Mahomes. This week, he'll face a tough test against the Chargers, with Derwin James flying around, threatening to blow up anything over the middle of the field. He should continue to be a centerpiece of the passing offense going forward, so keep an eye on No. 4 on Sunday.
Cornerback Jaylen Watson: It has been a back-and-forth competition between Jaylen Watson and Joshua Williams for playing time. Watson got most of the work against the Broncos and responded with a couple of batted passes. Everyone remembers his clutch 99-yard interception returned for a touchdown last season, so perhaps Watson will get the chance to prove he's a Charger killer by making more plays this week.
Defensive lineman Charles Omenihu: It's been a long wait to get the Chiefs' significant offseason addition on the field with their already solid defense. Omenihu will finally make his debut against the Chargers, and he might just make a big impact. Omenihu's coming in hungry with fresh legs, as Chris Jones and George Karlaftis are already playing at the top of their respective games. Look for Omenihu to get work on the outside and the inside, and don't be surprised if he gets a sack in his debut.
Others trending in the right direction this week: Harrison Butker, Derrick Nnadi, George Karlaftis, Drue Tranquill, Justin Reid, Nick Bolton, Trent McDuffie, Mike Edwards
Wide receiver Kadarius Toney: The offseason's "No. 1 receiver" has had a frustrating year so far. Not really finding any production or carving out a big role, Toney is somewhat of a forgotten man in the Chiefs' wide receiver group. With the return of Mecole Hardman, it's possible he'll take some of the screens/trick plays that should have been part of Toney's job. Last week, he managed nine yards receiving on six targets and lost five yards on his two rushes. This week, it's hard to see how he'll be a focus of the offense.
Defensive lineman Malik Herring: With the addition of Charles Omenihu and the rumored talks with Frank Clark about a return, it feels like Malik Herring might be the odd man out. He's got the size and strength to play inside or outside and has been the guy in the rotation to keep the other guys on the line fresh. But he hasn't been particularly productive, other than the half-sack last week. It's likely we won't see much of Herring on the field against the Chargers or in the coming weeks.
EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah: The first-round rookie has been impressive in small glimpses this season. Unfortunately, those glimpses are becoming more rare. Anudike-Uzomah was only a part of five snaps against the Broncos — and that was before Omenihu returned. It seems the Chiefs prefer to bring him along slowly, and he might struggle to see increased playing time. The team could use his speed-rushing ability, but it might just be the secret weapon they bring out for a stretch run.
Others trending in the wrong direction this week: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Montrell Washington
Value (sleeper) pick: WR/PR/KR Mecole Hardman
Who else could it be this week? Hardman was a productive Chief, especially as a rookie when he was turning in big plays nearly every week. He's also been good in the red zone and on trick plays where his straight-ahead speed is a weapon. The Chiefs have been lacking in each of those areas, which could be why they made the move to bring "the Jet" back from the Jets.
By releasing Montrell Washington, the team is already signaling that Hardman will handle most return duties. Given injuries to Richie James and Justin Watson, there's a clear opening for someone to step in and earn a role on offense as well. Outside of Rashee Rice, none of the Chiefs wide receivers have been performing up to expectations.
Perhaps Mecole can step back in and burn the Chargers this week?