Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers travel to face their inner divisional rival Kansas City Chiefs for the last Thursday Night football game of the 2018 season. The Chiefs sit at 11-2 with the first seed in the playoffs. The Chargers are 10-3 so far, but sit in the wild card spot because they are in second place of their division.
This game will be a good one with two top quarterbacks facing off. If Kansas City wins they will clinch the division but if the Chargers win they will have an edge to end up winning the AFC West. Although the Oakland Raiders beat the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, they sit at 3-10 and are not in contention for the division let alone the playoffs. The Denver Broncos lost to the San Fransisco 49ers last week, lowering their chances of making the wildcard spot.
Week 15 Matchup
The Chargers have a better defense that is ranked eighth overall, seventh in passing defense and 11th in rushing. Compared to the Chiefs who are ranked 30th overall, last in passing and 25th in rushing defense. Yet in offense, Kansas City is ranked first overall compared to sixth overall for the Chargers.
Defense wins championships, right? If the Los Angeles defense is as good as they’re ranked, it won’t be hard to take down Mahomes and their offense. They no longer have a star running back to take some pressure off of Mahomes and his offensive line. The Chargers’ star running back is ruled out as well, but their backups can hold their own.
The Chiefs took the AFC West division in 2016 and 2017 with Alex Smith as the quarterback. If the Chiefs take it this year, this will be the third year in a row that this team was able to control the West.
If the Chargers are able to take down the red-hot Chiefs, they will boast the same record as them. Although they won’t be in first place in the division, both teams will have the same record, as well as a 1-1 record against each other during the season. The NFL goes to inner division wins after those two comparisons. The win against the Chiefs would put the Chargers at 3-2. But a loss to the Chargers only puts the Chiefs at 4-1.
The Chiefs remaining schedule includes the Seattle Seahawks and the Oakland Raiders. If they fall to the Chargers, Kansas City would need to fall one more time in the last weeks of the season to give away the division, as well as the Chargers taking home wins against the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos.
The First matchup in Week 1
Week 1 of the season did not start out how the Chargers wanted it to. They fell to the Chiefs at home 38-28. They began to rally back in the fourth quarter but the defense was unable to keep Mahomes from scoring in the fourth. Patrick Mahomes stunned the NFL world going 15 of 27 for 256 yards and four touchdowns. Philip Rivers went 34 of 51 for 424 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
This is was the ninth game that Kansas City was able to top the Chargers. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill became the first player in NFL history with multiple 50-yard touchdowns in the first quarter of his team’s first game of a season.