Chiefs vs. Chargers game preview: Joey Bosa’s dominance is a big concern for K.C.

CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers makes a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs at StubHub Center on September 9, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers makes a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs at StubHub Center on September 9, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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(Chiefs) NASHVILLE, TN – NOVEMBER 10: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs on the sidelines in the second half of a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on November 10, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Chiefs 35-32. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Chiefs schedule continues with the Los Angeles Chargers this Monday in Mexico City. What can fans expect heading into the contest?

That was a stomach churning loss, but unfortunately something we as Kansas City Chiefs fans have seen far too many times in the history of the franchise. With a seasoned coach and a far more talented roster, the Chiefs lost a game to a lesser opponent mostly due to ugly and rare mistakes. There were drops from reliable receivers, a costly turnover, and multiple special teams miscues.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing to be done about it. The only positive takeaway from the Chiefs loss to the Titans is that Patrick Mahomes had another Mahomesian game. For those in the national media who suffer from recency bias and had forgotten about him due to the few games he’s missed, he’s still arguably the biggest game changer at the position. Things have to go really poorly at other positions for opponents to beat the Chiefs, but that’s unfortunately what we’ve seen happen in every loss this season.

So that’s where we’re at. It’s gut check time. This team, Mahomes excluded, needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror and make a commitment based on where they want this season to end. If it’s the Super Bowl, well, they have all the talent and coaching they need on both sides of the ball to make that happen. There’s no question that’s the case. Andy has been an elite play caller for most of the season and Steve Spagnuolo has shown great promise.

While their margin for error has decreased decisively, as only three teams since 2011 have made and won the Super Bowl without a first round bye, they have the ultimate game changer in Patrick Mahomes. Unfortunately, this might also be part of the problem. Mahomes’ greatness is so clear and evident that it appears to make some players think that their mistakes don’t matter.

The problem is, Mahomes can’t throw a pass and simultaneously ensure that pass is caught. He can’t hand the ball off and simultaneously ensure that ball isn’t fumbled. These things are physically impossible. The Chiefs sure as heck can’t risk putting him out at long snapper to ensure Dustin Colquitt’s cues are heard and followed correctly. Mahomes is a generational talent, but no one in football can do it all themselves. It’s the consummate team sport, and it’s time for his team to step up while he’s in the game.

Now, don’t take this as someone standing on their soapbox raining down criticism on players who more often than not do their jobs very well. As fans we need to understand that sometimes coaches have bad days, sometimes players have bad days, and sometimes things just happen that coaches and players can’t control. That’s a major factor in all of this, and why we as a fan base need to cut this team some slack.

There is still plenty of opportunity for this team this season. If they take each opponent seriously there’s no reason they can’t put themselves in the position to have a bye. Even if they don’t, they have the talent to win four games in January and February. This journey begins on Monday Night Football in Mexico City against an inconsistent but talented Los Angeles Chargers team. What storylines should fans know heading into the contest?

The Chargers defense is somewhat of a mixed bag

The Chargers were a hot pick to win the AFC West during this past offseason. It’s somewhat understandable, as they finished last season with 12 wins and only 4 losses. This was the same record as the Chiefs, who ended the season with the one-seed in the playoffs. Some pundits may have believed if the Chargers had achieved the one-seed that, avoiding playing in New England in the divisional round, they would have been in the AFC Championship game instead of the Chiefs.

To this point, the Chargers haven’t really made any of those pundits look great—at least when you look at their record. They’re currently sitting at 4-6 and look like at least the second-worst team in the division. They also actually lost to the Broncos, who currently boast the worst record in the West.

The Chargers haven’t been particularly good but they haven’t been particularly bad either. While they’ve lost six games, all six losses have come by an average of less than 5 points. In similar fashion, their defense has produced in spurts and looks good from a basic statistical standpoint (albeit, not from an advanced stats level).

Through 10 games the Chargers are top-10 in several major categories. They’re ranked eighth in points allowed, fifth in passing yards allowed and sixth in total yards allowed. The two major areas where they rank rather poorly are rushing yards allowed and takeaways, for which they rank 19th and 26th, respectively. It’s possible these two factors are what largely contribute to their ranking in the advanced category, for which their overall defense ranks 26th.

This could be a good sign for the Chiefs coming off a terrible loss to the Titans. A play caller like Andy Reid, who happens to have the Chargers number since he came to Kansas City, should be able to move the ball on the Chargers defense. Even so, there’s one player in particular that could throw a wrench in the Chiefs plans on Monday.