September 25, 2021
By Fred Liggett
After starting the season going up against two teams wanting to take the AFC title away from the Kansas City Chiefs the time has come to play a team who wants to take away the top spot in the AFC West Division. The Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers take the field this week in the first divisional matchup of the season for both teams.
NFL fans had to take a second look at the AFC West Division standings this week when they saw the Chiefs and Chargers tied at 1-1 going into this game. Both teams are looking up at the undefeated Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos after two weeks in the 2021 season. You don’t have to be a fan to know that winning a division home game is critical to a team’s chance for success in a season. Chiefs fans will tell you how well they fare against the AFC West Division but the Chargers found success against them in 2020. In the final regular season game last year the Chargers beat the Chiefs 38-21 in a week 16 match up that saw the Chiefs rest many of their starters. In the first meeting of the season when the two teams played at the new So-Fi stadium in LA the Chiefs won but only after Placekicker Harrison Butker kicked a long 58 yard field goal to win.
A lot of this new found success the Chargers had was due to Rookie QB Justin Herbert. Herbert, who took the job from Tyrod Taylor last season and kept it, has shown no sophomore season slump so far after two games. The Chiefs run defense has caused concern for the team and that means this week they will have to stop Chargers RB Austin Ekeler. Ekeler may not be 100% this week after leaving the Chargers game in week two due to a head injury. No matter Ekeler’s health condition one can expect the Chiefs pass defense to be the ones getting a work out due to Herbert’s arm and the Chargers passing game.
Playing twice each year has allowed the Chiefs and Chargers to know each other well but there is something new to keep watch in this game. During the off season the Chargers fired head coach Anthony Lynn and hired Brandon Staley in his place. Staley has worked extensively on the defensive side of the ball and most recently served as the defensive coordinator with the LA Rams. This will be the first time Staley has had the chance to match wits against Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.
Last season the Chiefs and Chargers played a game in LA without a single fan in attendance. The two teams played again this time in KC with fans but seating was only allowed in pods. A sold out GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium will be a whole new experience for the Chargers new head coach and second year franchise quarterback. A full house combined with the Chiefs wanting to bounce back quickly after their first loss of the season will be enough on this game day for the Chiefs to win a tough divisional game. That’s What I REID Into It for this week.