There are many things going right for the Kansas City Chiefs this week. Wide receiver Mecole Hardman is back, defensive tackle Charles Omenihu's impending debut is causing a stir, and the Chiefs are mostly healthy as the season's first half winds down. The 5-1 Chiefs hold a two-game lead in the AFC West with only six games on the books.
It has not been a perfect season, but Kansas City fans should be feeling good about where the team stands so far.
Our writers weigh in on the Kansas City Chiefs - Los Angeles Chargers matchup.
The Chiefs host the Los Angeles Chargers this Sunday afternoon, with most of the nation watching this matchup. This is the second AFC West matchup in a row for Kansas City, after their win over the Denver Broncos. It has been 10 days since fans have seen the Chiefs play, leaving an itch only Week 7 can scratch.
Our writers have their picks and predictions for the upcoming game. First, let's look at where they all stand in their picks for the season after last week.
After starting the season 2-3, the Chargers will come into Arrowhead desperate. If the Chargers lose, they risk being 3.5 games behind the Chiefs before Halloween. Because of that, I am expecting a close game, but the Chargers' defense is bad enough that the Chiefs' offense will click more than in past weeks.
Chiefs 27, Chargers 24
For a team that's at 2-3 with some uber-talented players on both sides of the ball tethered to their own desperation, there's been a lot of belittling of the Chargers lately by pretty much everyone. While the Bolts haven't been that good this season and continue to underperform expectations every season, they've certainly proven very capable of giving K.C. fits in each and every game. Not sure this is going to be pretty at all, and I could see this going the other way for sure. Chiefs 24, Chargers 22
The Chargers will be coming off of a short week following Monday Night Football and the Chiefs will have had 10 days to rest and prepare so that's a huge advantage that many likely aren't considering. The Chargers have a lot of holes on defense and it feels like Brandon Staley is holding onto his job by a thread. Expect the Chiefs to come out and win by double digits after Andy Reid puts on a coaching clinic.
Chiefs 33, Chargers 19
Sunday's game against the Chargers is the AFC West Championship Game. The Chargers' offense has given previous Chiefs fits in the past, but this Chiefs' defense is built differently. My hot take for the week is that the newcomers will make a statement in this game, Hardman will make his case as a reliable weapon for Patrick Mahomes, and Omenihu will show us why the Chiefs brought him into town. Finally, as in most Chargers/ Chiefs games, a Patrick Mahomes Touchdown to Travis Kelce on a 2-minute drive will be the nail in the coffin that is the Chargers' chance to win the AFC West Championship
Chiefs 35, Chargers 28
The Chiefs' offense has been a work in progress, but the Chargers' defense has had issues of their own. Justin Herbert and the Chargers offense will put up some points, but KC's defense will force the Chargers into at least one self destructive player and the Chiefs come away with another close win.
Chiefs 27, Chargers 20
Los Angeles is coming off of a three-point loss. In fact, all of their wins and losses have been a one-score game and I'd expect this to be very similar. Kansas City is getting a boost to each side of the ball with the additions of Mecole Hardman and Charles Ominehu. They bring along a new dynamic that the Chargers haven't seen on film this season. The edge goes to the home team with some new toys to play with.
Chiefs 27, Chargers 19
The Chiefs have only played weird games this season. No matter the matchups, no matter the trends, and no matter any edges, Kansas City has not had a "normal" game this year. Please give me an unusual Scorigami score, but the expected result.
Chiefs 25, Chargers 18
This will be a major test for both teams. For the Chiefs, it will test them against a relatively “good” team and quarterback. For the Chargers it will pretty much determine their season (and maybe even their coach). I expect another close match with the Chiefs narrowly edging out a win on a Butker field goal (and he keeps his perfect streak alive). This will also pretty much lock up the division for the Chiefs, and it’s not even Halloween, yet.
Chiefs 30, Chargers 27
Since the Chargers drafted Justin Herbert, the Chiefs have faced him 6 times. All but one of those meetings have been decided by 6 points or less, with the lone exception being Week 17 in 2021 when the Chiefs had the division wrapped up. There will be chippy play, there will be turnovers, there will be questionable coaching decisions on both sides, but one thing is for certain - this will be a tight game. The Chiefs could begin putting the division on ice with a win sending them to 6-1 while the Chargers fall to 2-4. I, for one, am in favor of worrying more about the AFC's top playoff seed than the divisional championship down the stretch this season.
Chiefs 28, Chargers 24
The Kansas City Chiefs are perhaps the healthiest they've been through the first six weeks of the 2023 season. The Chargers are coming in 2-3 having dropped their last game to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night. Keenan Allen is their only true offensive weapon at this stage of the season, but a cornered divisional opponent can be dangerous. Expect Mahomes and company to get things back on track through the air. While Khalil Mack and Morgan Fox have had a ton of success rushing the passer, the Chargers have the league's worst pass defense.
Chiefs 31, Chargers 24
Everything points toward this game being a blowout for KC. The Chiefs are coming off a mini-bye and the Chargers are on a short week. The Chiefs' defense matches up very well with the LA offense and the Chargers' defense is playing terribly so far. The problem is that Justin Herbert always plays the Chiefs tough. This game will be close, whether we like it or not, but the Chiefs will win.
Chiefs 23, Chargers 20
I could see the Chiefs dropping a game like this but I’m going to be optimistic. The Chargers are not well-coached and look lost on occasion. The Chiefs win this one on a vintage late-game Mahomes-led drive.
Chiefs 27, Chargers 20