Has the ship righted itself? I’m honestly not sure. After a two game losing streak (that I maintain was simply done in order to ensure that Andy Reid was able to win his 100th game with the Chiefs in his old stomping ground of Philly), the offense looks incredible, the defense looks atrocious, and fans are left questioning. What do we make of this team?
Before we ask those big questions, let’s dive in and look at our competitors in the AFC West as they are all 3-1 in a very tight race in a very tough division.
Los Angeles Chargers
The first half of Monday night’s game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders was shockingly entertaining for a relatively low scoring, defensive battle. I really thought this game would be close because the Raiders were playing pretty well and the Chargers just beat the Chiefs, so credit must be given. What I did not anticipate was that the defenses would be as tough as they proved to be. Usually in defensive battles like this, it’s a snooze-fest because you don’t have those great Mahomes-ian plays that light up your TV. This, however, featured a hard-hitting, tough defensive battle.
The Chargers ultimately came out victorious (which in the grand scheme of things is probably not as good for the Chiefs), and I am here to tell you that Justin Herbert looks legit. Is he Patrick Mahomes? Of course not. No one is. Did I find the MNF crew’s discussion of handing Herbert a gold jacket to be the most outlandish thing I’ve heard in a long time? Of course. BUT, Herbert looks like the real deal.
First-year head coach Brandon Staley is coaching with some major cajones, and if that team can maintain talent around Herbert while avoiding the injury bug, they could be legitimate threats to the Chiefs year in and year out. I, for one, am here for the emergence of a legitimate divisional rivalry—one that is a toss up for each and every game. It makes it more exciting, doesn’t it?
Herbert looks great, but his supporting cast is maybe even more impressive. He has a plethora of receivers to choose from, a running back that can bully his way up the middle and still be elusive on the outside, and a defense that is punishing. Bosa has always been great and his comments postgame make it even harder for me to dislike him…
Exactly my thoughts, Joey.
On the injury front, the Chargers had some bad news in advance of Monday’s game. The team placed linebacker Kenneth Murray on IR along with defensive lineman Justin Jones. Both will miss at least 3 weeks (factoring in the bye, and we won’t see them until at least November). Not great for the Chargers as Murray has been playing outstanding. They will have to rely on Drue Tranquill and Nick Niemann (yes, brother of Ben) to fill the void.
Next week, the Chargers continue their tough stretch by playing host to the Cleveland Browns. The Browns gave the Chiefs fits in Week 1 and that was without the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. back into the lineup. Baker Mayfield needs to play sharper, but if the Browns show up, we could see the Chargers drop here. If the Chargers win, however, shut off your Twitter because they will be crowned the team to beat in the AFC.