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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5. Attack anyone in the secondary that isn't Asante Samuel Jr.

The Chargers defense has played very poorly so far this season, but their secondary has been especially terrible. Derwin James is having by far the worst season of his career (in which he's played games) and the team just traded former big free agent signing J.C. Jackson back to the Patriots earlier this month. Cornerbacks Michael Davis and Ja'Sir Taylor have been awful in both man and zone coverage, though the Chargers are primarily a team that runs zone defense.

By far the best player in Los Angeles' secondary is third-year cornerback Asante Samuel Jr., who's been excellent this season. Other than him, everybody else in the Chargers' secondary has not played well. This needs to be a game where the Kansas City wide receivers win very early. Especially with the earlier point regarding Los Angeles' stout pass rush. No separation from the receivers and no protection from the offensive line is a terrible combination. Ideally, both, but at least one unit, needs to come to play. Against an underperforming secondary, this should be a game where at least one of the non-Rashee Rice wide receivers isn't dead weight.

Of course, Travis Kelce should still be awesome, but Rashee Rice should see more action in this game. The good news is that in Week 6 against the Broncos, Rice saw his second most total snaps of the season, behind only Week 3 against the Bears when he played a lot of garbage time snaps, including the most passing snaps. The Chiefs seem to trust Rice more by the week and this week would be an ideal test for the rookie. It's an important game and the opponent has a less-than-stellar secondary that plays a lot of zone (which he thrives against).

As long as Patrick Mahomes is kept clean in this game, which admittedly is a significant question, the Chiefs should absolutely move the ball in the passing game. The Chargers play a lot of zone coverage, which both Travis Kelce and Rashee Rice are elite against, and Los Angeles' secondary has significantly underperformed this season. The Kansas City passing offense has had consistency problems this year, but the Chargers' defense may be the ideal opponent to help solve them.