Predicting the rest of the Kansas City Chiefs schedule
Week 11 – L.A. Chargers, Monday Night Football, Mexico City
The Chargers are a surging football team, coming off two victories in their last three contests, and a narrow loss to the suddenly relevant Oakland Raiders. One of those victories included a 26-11 pounding over the red-hot Green Bay Packers in Los Angeles.
Sunday’s game against the Titans showed that Kansas City’s defense, while improved, is still susceptible to a strong run game and the Chargers feature pass-catching threat Austin Ekeler along with a healthy and rolling Melvin Gordon, who could each make the defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo have a very long Monday night.
In addition, Kansas City appears as if it will be without defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah for the rest of the season, after it was reported that the team sack leader tore his pec muscle against the Titans. If the Chiefs are able to get Alex Okafor back, that would be nice, but it seems more likely that the team will rely on a rotation of Frank Clark, Tanoh Kpassagno, and Chris Jones; a thin unit to say the least. A
fter Sunday’s Derrick Henry nightmare, expect Kansas City to activate Mike Parnell and sit Joey Ivie against the Chargers. It seems insignificant on the surface, but could make all the difference against Gordon.
The other big issue facing Kansas City in this one is the offensive line versus the formidable pass rushing front of LA which features Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. The Chiefs could be missing as many as three offensive lineman Monday, with Eric Fisher, Laurent Duvarney-Tardiff (though Reid did seem mildly optimistic Monday morning), and Martinas Rankin apparently out for the season. Couple that reality with a struggling run game and a still-hobbled quarterback and this one could be difficult.
Still, expect Kansas City to come out and play with aggression and urgency as they look to get back on track with most of their pieces back on the playing field. Andy Reid gets an extra day to prepare, and the Chiefs win in a close game where there is never much doubt: Chiefs 36, Chargers 26.
Week 12 – A Much Needed Bye
The Chiefs likely wished this bye had occurred after Week Seven or Eight, instead of three quarters of the way through the season. But, these are the cards they’ve been dealt. The bye allows them to rest some ailments, and more importantly gives them extra time to prepare for a suddenly huge game against Oakland in Week 13. (7-4)
Week 13 – Oakland Raiders, Arrowhead Stadium
The 5-4 Raiders, winners of two straight, are suddenly in competition for an AFC Wild Card birth, if not a AFC West division title. Three weeks ago, the Raiders gave the Houston Texans a run for their money, before winning back-to-back contests against the Detroit Lions and LA Chargers. Derik Carr is playing some of the best football of his career, and Josh Jacobs looks like the runaway pick for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
But we’re much more on the ‘Lions are Bad’ and ‘Chargers are worse’ train than we are the ‘Raiders are for real’ one. Couple of that with Andy Reid’s incredible performance against the AFC West (18-2 since 2015), and the Chiefs coming back mostly healthy and off of a bye week, and this one has the makings of a let down in terms of its competitiveness, considering it features two of only three teams with winning records against top five strength of schedules (based on DVOA): Chiefs 34, Raiders 19. (8-4)