Ten Quick Thoughts On The Chiefs’ Win Over The Chargers

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5. The Chiefs need to draft a wide receiver in next year’s draft.

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Drafting a wide receiver should be among the Chiefs’ top priorities this offseason. While capable, the receiving corps is woefully unreliable. Drops have plagued the Chiefs throughout the season. Sunday was no different. Dwayne Bowe and Junior Hemingway both dropped passes in crucial situations. Not to be outdone, A.J. Jenkins inexplicably stepped out of bounds on a third down play he converted and likely would’ve scored on. Save De’Anthony Thomas, there are no playmakers in this group. Bowe had perhaps his best game of the season against the Chargers, but there’s no way to know if he’s trending upward or if Sunday’s game was an anomaly.

6. The inside linebackers are filling in admirably.

Josh Mauga shot gaps and destroyed plays with what Mitch Holthus would call “reckless abandon” on Sunday. He was directly responsible for one negative play in the game and limited gains on a few others. James-Michael Johnson has been stout in run support and has also shown range in coverage. Injuries to Derrick Johnson and Joe Mays were supposed to have decimated the middle part of Kansas City’s defense, but that’s not been the case. The tandem’s not good enough to replace what Mays and Johnson bring to the table, but they’ve more than stabilized the second wave of the defensive unit.

7. Sean Smith is having the best season of his career.

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Smith is Kansas City’s best cornerback today. That is a less controversial statement than it might’ve been three months ago. Smith has quietly strung together four quality starts. When October began, Pro Football Focus had him tied with two other cornerbacks for seventh-best in the league. He’s having perhaps his best NFL season as a pro and it’s gone a long way toward creating a top-five pass defense in Kansas City.

8. Ron Parker has found a home at safety.

Parker’s been invisible the past several weeks. As a defensive back, that’s a good thing. It usually means you’re playing well. That’s exactly what he’s done since being moved to safety. Eric Berry’s absence created yet another “next man up” opportunity and Parker’s been able to answer the bell. He made an incredible play on the ball during San Diego’s final drive. Rivers appeared to have Eddie Royal open deep, but Parker closed, high-pointed the ball, and prevented the catch. Berry can’t come back soon enough, but it appears that Reid has a serviceable replacement for him in the meantime.

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