Our writers at Arrowhead Addict have made their predictions for an important AFC West showdown on Sunday Night Football between the Chiefs and Chargers.
The Kansas City Chiefs have a chance to effectively wrap up the AFC West if they can take care of business against the Los Angeles Chargers. A win would drop Los Angeles to 5-5 while the Chiefs would move to 8-2. A win would also clinch the tie-breaker for the Chiefs, effectively giving them a 3.5-game lead over the Chargers with seven games to go.
Suffice it to say that the Chargers are cornered. And perhaps that is the scariest thing about this game. The Chargers have not forgotten how the Chiefs walked them off with a stupendous catch and run from Travis Kelce in their 2021 matchup at Sofi Stadium in L.A.
No matter what the standings say, the Chargers would love nothing more than to throw a molotov cocktail into the Chiefs’ 1-seed aspirations.
Let’s look at our writers’ predictions for Week 11.
Our writers all nailed the Jaguars game, and Lucas Strozinsky once again was the closest with his prediction. He just forgot to predict a missed PAT from Harrison Butker, otherwise, his 28-17 prediction would have been spot on. Here’s a look at our writers’ picks for the Chargers game:
Patrick Allen (7-2)
Projecting this one is hard because there are major injury concerns on both sides. The Chiefs are clearly the better team but that never seems to matter when they play the Chargers. This is a high-stakes game for both sides and I expect both coaches to throw in the kitchen sink. Fortunately, I think Andy Reid has one of the biggest kitchen sinks in the league, as well as Patrick Mahomes. Chiefs in a nail-biter.
Chiefs 26, Chargers 24
Matt Conner (7-2)
There’s something about playing with your back to the wall that brings out desperation that can win games. I had the Chargers/Chiefs splitting the series before the year began, and I think some key Chargers will return knowing their season is really on the line in Week 11. The Chiefs will play well, but I think the Chargers will play mid-season spoiler here to stay afloat.
Chargers 28, Chiefs 24
Bransen Gibson (7-2)
Every game matters in the NFL, but Sunday night’s clash against LA looms particularly large. With a chance to all-but-clinch their seventh consecutive AFC West title with a win, I’m expecting the Chiefs to come out all guns blazing. Even with JuJu and Mecole both sidelined, KC’s offense should still have plenty of firepower to blast past the Chargers.
Chiefs 31, Chargers 24
Lyle Graversen (7-2)
This game makes me a little nervous. The Chiefs are down some receivers and the Chargers were a 99-yard pick-six from Jaylen Watson from knocking off KC in Arrowhead earlier this year. No Joey Bosa in this game will help KC, and I’m hoping the motivation of essentially locking up the division and it being in prime time will be enough to get this done.
Chiefs 24, Chargers 23
Anthony Hatton (7-2)
While the Chiefs’ wide receiver room is being tested, the Chargers are looking to have their healthiest set of wide receivers in weeks. Mike Williams notoriously has his way with Kansas City’s defensive backs. Keenan Allen is on track to play as well. This game comes down to who is more desperate to win. Los Angeles needs to defeat the Chiefs to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Chargers 30, Chiefs 27
Scott Loring (5-4)
It’s November. That means the Chiefs are winning this ball game. Patrick Mahomes is 13-2 in his career in the month of November, and those two losses were at the Rams in 2018 (the 54-51 barnburner in which he threw for 478 yards and 6 touchdowns) and at Tennessee in 2019 (the 35-32 game in which he also threw for over 400 yards and was coming off a dislocated kneecap). The Chargers without Bosa are going to be easy for the Chiefs to carve up. Look for Noah Gray and Jody Fortson to get a lot of extra work while Travis Kelce is blanketed by the somehow-un-injured Derwin James. Several lead changes in this one.
Chiefs 30, Chargers 20
Ellen Mathis (8-1)
This will inevitably be a close game. Divisional games are weird and the Chargers always give the Chiefs fits even if they aren’t fully healthy. Add onto that the fact that this game really is a make or break for the Chargers season and we are going to see a tight match that I think goes back and forth. The one thing the Chiefs have overall, however, is Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid. Because of that factor, I think this ends in a close Chiefs win.
Chiefs 24, Chargers 21
Jacob Milham (7-2)
This game could be the finishing touch on another Chiefs AFC West championship. Doing so on the road will be tougher, especially against a resilient Los Angeles Chargers team. The Chiefs’ pass rush will again be a deciding factor, especially against a banged-up Chargers offensive front. Kansas City’s 13 sacks over the past three games have been underappreciated, and a dominant return from Frank Clark would be welcome. An easy Kansas City win here is unlikely, but a win on the road is rarely easy.
Chiefs 34, Chargers 27
KC Proctor (7-2)
Keeping this one simple. Put the injuries out of your mind because both teams are thin in one way or another. Mahomes will find a way to win yet another dogfight with LA.
Chiefs 26 Chargers 23
Charles Robinson (8-1)
Injuries, the close game the last time these two teams played, the second act of last year’s thriller at SoFi—yada, yada, yada. Storylines aside, this is about a far superior quarterback going on the road and essentially closing the door on the division race. Patrick Mahomes has transcended his previously extraterrestrial levels of play over the course of the 2022 season and is clearly in a class of his own. The Chargers are reeling after losing 2 of their last 3 and the Chiefs will land the knockout punch on Sunday that will put the chargers a full 3 games back in the division with 7 to play and a much harder remainder of schedule than KC with both the Titans and Dolphins still left to go for LA. After a lot of noise this off-season, it’s clear that the AFC West crown, and the league’s best quarterback, still reside in the Kingdom.
Chiefs 32, Chargers 20
I should pick the Chargers. The season split, the Chiefs thin at receiver. However, I don’t trust LA to win this game, and ultimately that’s why I choose the Chiefs. Kelce may not get to be the hero he was last year but watch for a Pacheco breakout game.
Chiefs 31, Chargers 28
Lucas Strozinsky (7-2)
This is a game the Chiefs should definitely win but by how much is the question. Justin Herbert has been great in the two games since the Chargers (don’t let the stats fool you) and he rarely puts the ball in harm’s way. If the Chiefs can avoid turning the ball over and can protect Patrick Mahomes, they should win handily, but divisional games are weird.
Chiefs 31, Chargers 26
Grant Tuttle (8-1)
The Chiefs are due for a blowout game against a divisional opponent. The Chargers have managed to keep it close for quite some time. Now is the time for Kansas City to roll over a team that has struggled defensively. Look for Mahomes to find Kadarius Toney and MVS early and often if JuJu Smith-Schuster can’t go.
Chiefs 34, Chargers 17