5 boxes the Chiefs must check to take care of the Chargers

Heading into the Sunday afternoon clash against the Los Angeles Chargers, what must the KC Chiefs do in order to improve to 6-1?
Sep 15, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) meets
Sep 15, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) meets / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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The Kansas City Chiefs are on a roll, winning their last five games en route to a 5-1 record. Last week, they beat their divisional-rival Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football and now turn their focus towards another divisional foe, the Los Angeles Chargers.

Despite their less-than-stellar record of 2-3, the Chargers are still a capable team and they've always given the Chiefs trouble. In the five matchups between Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes, every single game has been close and competitive well into the fourth quarter. Despite the close matchups, the Chiefs hold a 4-1 record in those games.

If Kansas City is going to win for the fifth time in six games against the Chargers, here are the five things they are going to need to do:

1. Win the turnover battle

This is now going to be a recurring bit. Winning the turnover battle is important in every single game, but is critical against good to great teams.

The Chargers haven't been a great team this season. They have a losing record, their defense has been terrible, and their offense has been inconsistent. But the one thing they've been excellent at is limiting giveaways. They're tied for third in the NFL in giveaways per game at just 0.6 per game. For reference, the Chiefs are currently at 1.5 giveaways per game, tied for 20th in the NFL.

Justin Herbert has always been super careful with the football. In both 2021 and 2022, Herbert had the lowest turnover-worthy play rate, according to Pro Football Focus ($). This year, he's 18th in turnover-worthy plate rate at 3.0%, with seven turnover-worthy plays in total. But luck has been on his side as he's only had two giveaways this season, despite being more reckless than early in his career. Could his luck turn against him on Sunday?

In addition to protecting the football, the Chargers haven't done a terrible job at forcing takeaways themselves at 1.6 per game, 10th in the NFL.

Do not expect Los Angeles to be careless with the football in this game. The Chiefs' defense may force a turnover or two, but it is a tall order. Even though they have a losing record, the Chargers always play the Chiefs tough and the margin for error against them is critical. Losing the turnover battle this game is a dangerous would be extremely dangerous for Kansas City. If they can win or even push, then the chances of winning are very good.