There has yet to be another team in real contention of claiming the AFC West title in years, but the Chiefs are well aware of the blossoming talent in the Los Angeles Chargers.
There is no doubt that the rookie-of-the-year led offense has some firepower to it, but they also have developed an attention-drawing defense in recent years.
Former Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley has been hired as a head coach and replaced what was a train wreck with Anthony Lynn.
Now, I am not saying the Chargers are going to beat Kansas City and make some sort of playoff run, but they will shock some teams this year with quarterback Justin Herbert under center.
Last Seasons Matchups
The Chiefs were 1-1 against LA this past season, with both meetings being tight.
In the first matchup, Los Angeles nearly shocked Andy Reid and company but ultimately came up short. It wasn’t until Harrison Butker drilled a 58-yard field goal in overtime that the Chiefs had secured the win.
It was not the Chiefs’ day and this week 2 loss could have altered the course of the season.
Starting with a horrendous first half of play followed by a mediocre third quarter, Kansas City was lucky to make a fourth-quarter comeback and force overtime.
Enter week 17 where the Chiefs already have secured the one-seed and opt to not play starters. LA would win the contest 38-21.
If dismal play is shown in these matchups next season, the results on the scoreboard will not be the same.
Kansas City is going to refurbish its offensive line this offseason, but its struggles against elite pass rushes could have them packing their bags again late next season.
With Joey Bosa on contract and Melvin Ingram likely to return, the Chargers could be looking at a very skilled front group.
Chargers Were Not Terrible Last Season
While a record of 7-9 is certainly worthy of giving a coach the ax, there is further reason Anthony Lynn was fired.
He was a horrible head coach. He was not fired for his overall record as a coach with this organization, but for his inability to make head coaching decisions in clutch time or let alone anytime.
Of the Chargers’ nine losses last season, seven of them were by one score or less. There were countless instances where Los Angeles could have won games but did not solely because of horrendous coaching.
There was never a shortage of talent in the close losses and now there may actually be a coach who knows what he is doing in Branon Staley.
Keep in mind the Chargers did finish the season sweeping the AFC West, defeating Las Vegas, Denver, and Kansas City in weeks 15, 16, and 17.
Chiefs Will Still Win AFC West
The Chiefs will still win the division but must be careful in doing so. If caught slipping, Kansas City has been proven not invincible.
Major adjustments need to be made at the offensive line position and a few key veteran guys may be departing.
With a wild free agency likely to come, there is no telling what these rosters will look like come September.
Coming off a historic season, Mahomes, Kelce, Hill, and co. will continue to make AFC West contenders look silly and grab a fourth straight divison title.