Around the AFC West: Christmas comes to L.A. Chargers

Dec 24, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) dives for a touchdown against Seattle Seahawks linebacker Jordyn Brooks (56) during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 24, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) dives for a touchdown against Seattle Seahawks linebacker Jordyn Brooks (56) during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /
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Welcome back to the Christmas edition of Around the AFC West! (Admittedly a few days late.) What a Merry Christmas it was for us Kansas City Chiefs fans as the AFC West champs handled their business against the visiting Seattle Seahawks. It may not have been the flashiest of wins, but a win is a win.

The rest of the AFC West had either dismal Christmases or great ones; there was simply no in-between. Let’s dive in and see how our division rivals did over the holiday and what comes next for each team.

Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers rounded out the weekend against the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football. With a win, the Chargers would secure a playoff spot, something they had not done since 2018 and something Justin Herbert had never accomplished.

Although I watch the Chargers all year, I was still surprised that Herbert hadn’t seen the playoffs yet. He is a great quarterback but the snakebitten franchise has kept the elusive playoffs just out of reach—that and Brandon Staley’s weird coaching decisions at the end of last year against the Raiders.

That said, the Chargers really struggled against the Colts, with too many turnovers and dumb decisions. I really thought the Chargers should have played a better game. However, the Colts, behind Nick Foles, turned over the ball even more. It really does come down to turnovers, and we have seen that in the Chiefs games throughout the year.

Herbert is getting his receivers back and they look dangerous. That, combined with the offensive line and defensive line getting healthy, and this team really could be dangerous in the postseason.

This fun trick play really threw the Colts for a loop and I wish Keenan Allen had been able to stay in bounds. It would have made the play all that much better. Khalil Mack also proved he still has a lot left in the tank. I mean, Nick Foles isn’t a particularly elusive quarterback, but still…

With the win over the Colts, the Chargers are officially in the playoffs and Herbert will get his first taste of the postseason. It’s a big accomplishment for the team that has had to overcome quite a few injuries this season and as they become healthy, they are certainly a dangerous team that could knock off a contender.

Next week, the Chargers and Rams square off. Baker Mayfield has been playing well so this will be a test for the Chargers. Both teams are technically on their own turf so we’ll see if Herbert can lead his team to another win or if the Rams make them look silly.