Kansas City Chiefs vs Los Angeles Chargers: Predictions and Odds (NFL Week 11)
This game goes to the Kansas City Chiefs. My prediction for the final score is Chiefs 34, Chargers 27.
How to Watch: Chiefs vs Chargers
What: Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers
When: Monday Night Football, November 18 at 8:15 pm ET
Where: Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico
How (TV): ESPN
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Latest point spread: Chiefs -4, Chargers +4
This much anticipated international Week 11 Monday Night Football matchup taking place in Mexico City, Mexico is between two AFC West teams both still mostly in the postseason hunt – the 6-4 Kansas City Chiefs and the 4-6 Los Angles Chargers.
The Chiefs are still freshly stinging from their Week 10 Sunday loss by a field goal to the shaky Tennessee Titans, while the Chargers have had a very long week to process their 2-point loss to the Oakland Raiders during the last Thursday Night Football.
Both teams have solid passing attacks but weaker run schemes, so let’s take a quick look at how they measure up against each other for this Week 11 internationally televised event.
The 6-4-0 Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs may have lost to the Tennessee Titans last week, but the great news is their franchise quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, has recovered from the dislocated kneecap he suffered and is prepared to lead his team on another run towards the postseason.
Having healthy targets also helps – Tyreek Hill is back on the field, Travis Kelce as soft-handed as ever and Sammy Watkins is taking full advantage of the double teams that those other two tend to draw.
The biggest challenge (as usual) for these Chiefs is on defense – coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s squad is ranked just 22nd overall and second worst in the league against the run, something that won’t help the team survive the playoffs, assuming they do end up qualifying.
The 4-6-0 Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers are the home team in this Week 11 matchup, but unfortunately for them it’s being played far away from their hometown L.A. crowd, instead being held in the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico.
It’s just as well, since the wavering Chargers are 2-3 in their actual home stadium at this point, right now with a passing attack that ranks better than their rushing game and a defense that ranks better than their offense, adding up to a hit or miss situation on a weekly basis.
The frustrating part of the Chargers’ offense is that despite only being able to score an average of 20 points per game, quarterback Philip Rivers is currently the most productive quarterback in the league, with 240 completions for 2,816 total yards and 14 touchdowns (although his 10 interceptions could help to explain the team’s frequent inability to get the win in the fourth quarter).
What’s at Stake for Chiefs vs Chargers?
These two AFC rivals have met 118 total times (including 1 postseason game), with Kansas City winning 61 of those times and Los Angeles winning the other 56 games, plus 1 tie.
The last time these two teams played was twice last season, the first time in September in Los Angeles, Chiefs 38, Chargers 28, and the second time in December in Kansas City, final score Chargers 29, Chiefs 28.
If the Chiefs win this matchup, they’ll move to 7-4-0 and get back on their winning roll, still well ahead of the Chargers and at least a game ahead of the next team up in the AFC West, the Oakland Raiders, who are 5-4 going into Week 11.
But if the Chargers come out winners in this one, they’ll be 5-6-0 and stay in the chase for the AFC West, with the top three teams in that close division all within a couple of games of each other.
Questions to Answer
Who’s favored to win this Week 11 Chiefs-Chargers matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to briefly compare the Chiefs and the Chargers next and attempt to answer those questions and more.
Offensive Stats Comparison
Kansas City Chiefs Overall Offense
- Ranked 1st overall in 2018
- Ranked 3rd overall in 2019
Passing attack: The Kansas City Chiefs have the 1st ranked passing offense in the league right now, averaging 313.9 yards per game through the air after ten weeks.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes is back under center in Kansas City and ranked the 6th most productive passer in the league having completed 193-of-291 passes for 2,626 yards and 18 touchdowns with 1 interception and a completion percentage of 66.3.
The Chiefs’ leading receiver after ten weeks is tight end Travis Kelce, who is currently ranked 9th in the league among receivers with 56 catches for 741 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Rushing attack: The Chiefs’ rushing attack is ranked 24th in the NFL after averaging 90.8 yards on the ground per game.
LeSean “Shady” McCoy is the Chiefs’ best runner and he is currently the 31st in the NFL with 72 carries for 371 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns, averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
Kansas City has scored 284 total points this season, or 28.4 per game, which is the 5th best total in the NFL.
Kansas City Offensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 11: tight end Blake Bell (ankle) and offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz (knee).
Injury notes: wide receivers Felton Davis (shoulder) and Marcus Kemp (knee), offensive tackle Greg Senat (undisclosed), offensive guard Martinas Rankin (knee) and tight end David Wells (undisclosed) have been placed on injured reserve.
Los Angeles Chargers Overall Offense
- Ranked 11th overall in 2018
- Ranked 16th overall in 2019
Passing attack: Los Angeles has the 8th best passing attack in the league after averaging 270.1 yards through the air each game.
Quarterback Philip Rivers is the overall most productive NFL passer after completing 240-of-364 passes for 2,816 yards and 14 touchdowns with 10 interceptions and a completion percentage of 65.9.
The Chargers’ best receiver is currently Keenan Allen, who has caught 62 passes for 725 yards with 3 touchdowns in ten weeks, ranked 10th among NFL receivers right now.
Rushing attack: Los Angeles has the 26th ranked rushing attack, so far averaging 86.1 yards on the ground per game.
Austin Eckeler is the Chargers’ best runner and now he is the 35th most productive in the NFL with 90 carries for 340 yards and 3 touchdowns, averaging 3.8 yards per carry.
Los Angeles has scored 207 points in 2019, averaging 20.7 per game, which is currently the 20th highest scoring average in the NFL.
Los Angeles Offensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 11: running back Justin Jackson (calf), wide receiver Geremy Davis (hamstring), offensive tackle Russell Okung (groin) and center Cole Mazza (illness).
Injury notes: offensive tackle Sam Tevi (knee) is listed as OUT, while wide receiver Geremy Davis (hamstring) is listed as inactive, while wide receivers Travis Benjamin (quadriceps), Dylan Cantrell (shoulder) and Dontrelle Inman (quadriceps), center Mike Pouncey (neck), tight ends Sean Culkin (Achilles) and Andrew Vollert (knee-ACL) and offensive guards Forrest Lamp (lower leg) and Koda Martin (undisclosed) have been placed on injured reserve.
The Kansas City Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes, and as long as he has at least one healthy leg (and it looks like he has both now, thankfully) his squad will have the offensive advantage, especially over the mediocre (ranked 16th) Chargers attack.
Defensive Stats Comparison
Kansas City Chiefs Overall Defense
- Ranked 31st overall in 2018
- Ranked 22nd overall in 2019
Pass coverage: The Chiefs have the 8th best pass defense in 2019 so far, allowing opponents to throw for 221.4 yards through the air per game.
Kansas City’s defense has 6 team interceptions and they have 30 sacks total.
Run coverage: The Chiefs are the 31st best (or second worst) NFL team against the run right now after allowing opponents to run for 148.1 yards per game.
Kansas City has allowed their opponents to score 239 total points, or 23.9 per game, which is the 20th least in the NFL.
Chiefs Defensive Players to Watch
The best tackler on the Chiefs’ defense so far this season is outside linebacker Damien Wilson, who has 59 total tackles (2 for a loss), 1.5 sacks, 4 quarterback hits, a pass defended and a forced fumble.
Give some attention to Kansas City’s defensive end Chris Jones – he’s good – so far with 5.0 sacks, 11 quarterback hits, a forced fumble, a pass defended, a recovered fumble and 22 total tackles (4 for a loss).
This season, Chiefs’ cornerback Charvarius Ward has been active in the secondary, so far with two interceptions, 8 passes defended and 53 total tackles.
Chiefs Defensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 11: defensive end Alex Okafor (ankle).
Injury notes: defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah is listed as OUT, defensive end Tim Ward (knee – ACL) and linebacker Darius Harris (undisclosed) are listed as NFI, while defensive end Breeland Speaks (knee – MCL), cornerbacks Michael Hunter (groin), defensive tackle Xavier Williams (ankle) and Keith Reaser (Achilles) have been placed on injured reserve.
Los Angeles Chargers Overall Defense
- Ranked 9th overall in 2018
- Ranked 6th overall in 2019
Pass coverage: The Chargers’ defense is 5th best against the pass, allowing their opponents to throw for an average of 207.8 yards per matchup.
Los Angeles’s defense has 7 interceptions on opposing quarterbacks and they have 24 total sacks after ten weeks.
Run coverage: The Chargers are 19th best against a rushing attack, allowing opponents to run for an average of 110.5 yards per game.
Los Angeles has allowed their opponents to score 194 total points this season, or 19.4 per matchup, which is 8th fewest in the NFL.
Chargers Defensive Players to Watch
Make sure to check out Chargers’ outside linebacker Thomas Davis – the guy’s been busy, posting 78 total tackles, T-12th most in the league (3 for a loss), a sack and 2 quarterback hits.
Definitely watch for defensive end Joey Bosa, who is incredible for the Chargers, right now with 8.5 sacks (T-6th most in the league), 19 quarterback hits, a forced fumble and 48 total tackles (12 for a loss).
Cornerback Casey Hayward’s name is called quite a bit during Chargers games, so far this season with 2 interceptions, 9 passes defended and 22 total tackles.
Chargers Defensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 11: defensive tackle Justin Jones (shoulder) and safety Roderic Teamer (groin).
Injury notes: defensive tackles Cortez Broughton (illness) listed as NFI, while linebacker Tre’Von Johnson (undisclosed) and safeties Nasir Adderley (hamstring), Derwin James (foot) and Adrian Phillips (forearm) have been placed on injured reserve.
The Kansas City Chiefs have a habit of struggling on defense and the Los Angeles Chargers have shown they can shut opponents down, so L.A. will have the defensive advantage on Monday night.
Special Teams Stats Comparison
Kansas City’s veteran punter, Dustin Colquitt, is in his fifteenth NFL season, all with the Chiefs, and this season he has punted 31 times for a net average of 41.8 yards per punt, which was the 17th best in the league.
Los Angeles’ rookie punter, Ty Long, is in his first NFL season, and this year he has punted 29 times for a net average of 41.9 yards per punt, T-15th best in the league.
Kansas City’s placekicker, Harrison Butker, is in his third NFL season, all with the Chiefs.
Butker has made 23-of-27 field goals this season, his longest a 54 yarder, and so far, he has missed two extra point attempts (29/31).
Los Angeles’ placekicker Michael Badgley was suffering a groin injury, but he is now good to go.
Badgley is 5-for-6 this season, his longest a 43-yarder, and he has missed no extra point attempts (5/5).
Right now, wide receiver Mecole Hardman is listed on the roster as Kansas City’s punt returner and he’s ranked 1st overall in punt return average this year.
Hardman has returned 6 punts for 96 yards, averaging 16 yards per return.
Los Angeles’ punt returner, nickelback Desmond King, is ranked 26th in punt return average this season.
King has returned 14 punts for 96 yards, averaging 6.9 yards per return, his longest for a 68-yard touchdown return.
Special Teams Advantage
The Chargers’ placekicker has just recovered from a serious groin injury, so because of that the Chiefs will have the special teams advantage on Monday Night.
Final Game Analysis: Chiefs vs Chargers
Why Will the Chiefs Win this Game?
The Kansas City Chiefs will win this game if they can shut down the Chargers’ run game, something the Chiefs have struggled to do in all four of their 2019 losses, each to a team with a premiere running back.
The Chiefs typically win their games with unbeatable offense, so Patrick Mahomes will have to find the end zone early and often, something he has no trouble doing, his team averaging over 28 points per game this year.
So a big key for Kansas City in this game (and in the rest of their games this season) will be to keep Mahomes incredibly safe (especially his knees, at least for now), something left tackle Eric Fisher and his front line have been able to do well, right now allowing just 10 sacks of Mahomes all season.
Why Will the Chargers Win this Game?
The Los Angeles Chargers can win this game if their run game can continue its effectiveness, having posted 145+ total rushing yards in each of their last two outings, something that Melvin Gordon takes great pride in.
The Chiefs are notoriously weak against he run, so that is the secret to outscoring them – have Gordon and Austen Ekeler pound the ball in the first half and then let Rivers loose in the second half with play action passes to Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.
Of course, Joey Bosa will have to play big if the Chargers expect to win, even at home, but that’s what NFL Bosa’s tend to do these days, and with a healthy Melvin Ingram by his side, the two may just be able to keep Mahomes under enough pressure to force some helpful turnovers that could decide the game.
Chiefs vs Chargers – Who Will Win?
The Kansas City Chiefs – as long as Patrick Mahomes is on the field, put your money on the Chiefs, especially against a Chargers team that seems offensively lost these days.
John Breech of CBS Sports predicts the score as Chiefs 37, Chargers 30.
My prediction for the final score is Chiefs 34, Chargers 27.
Kansas City Chiefs vs Los Angeles Chargers – Game Odds
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