Chargers Receivers Versus the Chiefs Cornerbacks Will Be a Matchup to Watch for on Sunday

Fernando Ramirez

It is game day. The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) will be the team the Chargers (1-0) will face in their debut at SoFi Stadium.

To beat a team like the Chiefs, the Chargers will need to play a perfect game in all three phases. The visitors have a high-powered offense, an underrated defense, and explosive returners.

Here are some key matchups to watch for in week two:

  1. Chargers offensive coordinator Shane Steichen versus Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo

The Chiefs defensive coordinator has a special group on his field that knows when to turn it on and rattle an offense. They did it last year in Mexico City against the Chargers that led to four interceptions being thrown by then quarterback Philip Rivers. Steichen needs to make sure his offense pulls out all the stops. He needs to get running back Austin Ekeler going in the passing game because he only had one catch for three yards last week. He will also need quarterback Tyrod Taylor to throw the ball downfield and make plays to receiver Mike Williams. Anthony Lynn wants to mix the run and pass, so expect to see around 30-40 carries by Ekeler, Joshua Kelley, and Darius Bradwell. Steichen needs to call a great game and mix it up to give the team a chance to win.

2. Chargers receivers against Chiefs injured secondary.

The Bolts offense has an advantage with two of the Chiefs starting quarterbacks out today. Charvarius Ward is out with a hand injury, and Bashaud Breeland is serving a four-game suspension, so the Chiefs have some inexperience at cornerback. The Chargers need to expose that weakness. Receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams need to be fed all game long. Last week, Williams had 69 yards receiving while Allen had 37. Those numbers need to go up today. Allen is one of the best route runners in the NFL, and that could get help to confuse the young Chiefs corners. Williams is one of the best deep ball receivers, so inexperienced cornerbacks won’t be able to jump up with him. The team also has Jalen Guyton, K.J. Hill, and Joe Reed at their disposal, so they need to utilize all of their weapons.

3. Chargers defensive ends versus Chiefs tackles

The Chiefs have two very good tackles in Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher. Last season in both games against the Chargers, they only allowed one sack against Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. They will need to be better on Sunday. During the week, all of the defensive players agreed that they need more takeaways against the Chiefs. How can they do that? Get pressure on the quarterback. The pass-rushing duo needs to rattle Mahomes to give the secondary a chance to create turnovers. Lynn mentioned that the pressure needs to be applied through four quarters, and it needs to be consistent. Last week, the defense sacked Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow three times in the first half and none in the second half. Mahomes will pick them apart if the same thing happens on Sunday.

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