In a Week 17 game that won't change anything about the NFL's playoff picture, the Los Angeles Chargers travel to Arrowhead Stadium for their second matchup of the season with the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs plan on resting most of their starters in an effort to give them more rest heading into the postseason. The Arrowhead Report crew previews the game and gives their predictions.
Joshua Brisco: I've been pleasantly impressed by the Chargers this year, even in spite of some of their clock-management meltdowns. Now, on the back of three consecutive one-score victories, surely they'll beat the Chiefs' backups.
...What if they don't, though?
Most of the players seeing the field for the Chiefs on Sunday have something to prove. From Chad Henne and his place in the league to the younger players getting their first (and only) de facto preseason game of the year, both teams could bring a bit of juice to the field as Kansas City looks to lock up a one-loss season.
Prediction: Chiefs 24, Chargers 23
Tucker Franklin: While the Chiefs are resting their starters for this Sunday's game, the Chargers will be missing several as well. Los Angeles has been plagued with injuries this season, and this week is no different. Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said this week he will be without seven defensive starters. The Bolts' injury report is 12 players deep including Joey Bosa, Denzel Perryman, Casey Hayward, Chris Harris Jr. and many more. Justin Herbert will be the difference in the game though as the record-setting rookie will look to take advantage of Kansas City's backups.
Prediction: Chargers 21, Chiefs 14.
Jordan Foote: I still have a sour taste in my mouth from the first time the Chiefs and Chargers played this season. Justin Herbert is an impressive young quarterback and this time around, he won’t be facing Patrick Mahomes on the other end. This game will likely be the most boring contest of the Chiefs’ 2020 season, and while Andy Reid will certainly make veteran backup Chad Henne look decent, I don’t think it’s enough to keep up with Herbert in the final start of his rookie campaign.
Prediction: Chargers 24, Chiefs 14.
Conner Christopherson: Even with Keenan Allen and Joey Bosa not playing, it's hard to expect Chad Henne and many Chiefs backups to keep up with Justin Herbert. Hopefully watching individual players like Willie Gay Jr. will make this game a good viewing experience because other than that, any game without Mahomes just isn't as fun.
Prediction: Chargers 28, Chiefs 21.
Sam Hays: Here you go, the second time all season that I have predicted the Chiefs to lose (the other being the Ravens game in Week 3) and, shockingly, a multi-score loss this time around. This would be the first time in the last 61 games that the Chiefs lose by more than eight points, with the last one being a 28-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9 of the 2017 season, a game that Chiefs fans only really remember for this play. Thankfully, we would still have the reality of Patrick Mahomes never having lost by more than eight points. I think Justin Herbert takes advantage of this greatly-weakened Chiefs team and makes some major highlights in this one. I think that there are some nice moments for Chiefs fans to watch, but nonetheless, I have the Chiefs finishing the regular season with a loss to push them to 14-2 as the road to back-to-back Super Bowls heads into crunch time.
Prediction: Chargers 27, Chiefs 17.
Mark Van Sickle: There will be a lot of backups playing for both teams since neither has anything to play for at this point. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert will still play for LA, which gives the Chargers a slight edge despite being without top wideout Keenan Allen. The Chiefs' reserves will be out to show what they can do in a rare opportunity for some of these players who may typically just get special teams snaps or the occasional rotational snap. In the end, I think the Chiefs will make enough plays and kicker Harrison Butker will hit enough field goals to help the team finish with a 15-1 record for the first time in franchise history.
Prediction: Chiefs 23, Chargers 20.
Taylor Witt: I have no idea what to expect. Will the Chargers want to win this game? All it does is hurt their draft position. Will the Chiefs' backups be any good? Probably not. Who plays a little, who tries, who cares?
Prediction: Chargers 21, Chiefs 13.
Joe Andrews: Andy Reid is going to make Chad Henne look good, isn’t he? The Chargers should probably be the winner of this game, but who knows what happens. No matter the results, this may the last time the Chiefs see Anthony Lynn as a head coach in the AFC West (for now, at least).
Prediction: Chargers 21, Chiefs 17.
Jacob Harris: See you in two weeks.
Prediction: Chargers 28, Chiefs 21.