January 2, 2021

By Fred Liggett
FredL@lstribune.net

When we checked in last with the long-running Kansas City Chiefs/Los Angeles Chargers rivalry everyone saw Chiefs Place Kicker Harrison Butker successfully kick three field goals in a row with only one that counted in a thrilling 23-20 overtime victory. This week’s rematch will look a lot different as the two AFC West Division rivals play in the regular season finale.

Since that meeting in week two of the NFL season, the Chargers have found a new franchise quarterback in rookie Justin Herbert. This should come to no surprise to Chiefs fans who watched the first meeting between these two teams. Herbert got his first NFL start in this game and fared pretty well as he helped the Chargers extend the Chiefs into overtime before losing on a field goal. The 2020 first round pick of the Chargers will have much more time to prepare for the Chiefs this time. While Herbert may have taken over the role on a permanent basis the team is disappointed in what has turned out to be a 6-9 season so far. Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn is currently downplaying calls for his job even though the Chargers are riding a three-game winning streak as they head to Kansas City this weekend.

Not much has changed for the Chiefs in the loss column since that first meeting vs the Chargers back on Sept. 20. The Chiefs left LA that day with a 2-0 mark on the year and now 13 weeks later have only one loss in what has been a 14-1 season so far. When the Chiefs left an empty So-Fi Stadium in LA three months ago the team was celebrating a heart stopping road win within their division. This week the Chiefs have been celebrating earning the #1 seed in the upcoming AFC playoffs.

The Chiefs have enjoyed their series with the Chargers over the past five years as they have won nine straight and 12 out of the last 13 meetings. Despite the one-sided nature of this series in recent history the game will be seen by a large portion of the country. Early this week the game was moved to a new time and a new network. The Chiefs/Chargers will be in the 3:25 p.m. afternoon time slot and will be shown on Fox network.

This rematch will have a much different look thanks to what Chiefs Coach Andy Reid has planned for this team. With the Chiefs having already secured the top seed in the playoffs and a bye week the plans are to rest a few starters. As of this writing it is unknown if that means players like QB Patrick Mahomes will see limited playing time such as one half or no playing time at all.

No matter who takes the field one can expect a close game between two division rivals. The Chargers come to KC off from a three-point win vs Denver while the Chiefs enter off from a three-point win over Atlanta. Winning this game will be for pride as the Chiefs try to become the first team in franchise history to finish a regular season at 15-1. A Chargers win may help Coach Lynn keep his job during the off season. The Chiefs have been winning close games lately and will likely do so again as they get one more victory before the playoffs start. That’s What I REID Into It for this week.