LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (1-0) at KANSAS CITY (1-0)
Thursday, 8:15 p.m. EDT, Prime Video
OPENING LINE: Chiefs by 3 1/2, according to FanDuel SportsBook.
SERIES RECORD: Chiefs lead 65-58-1.
LAST MEETING: Chiefs beat Chargers 34-28 in OT on Dec. 16, 2021, in Los Angeles.
LAST WEEK: Chargers beat Raiders 24-19; Chiefs beat Cardinals 44-21.
CHARGERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (T15), RUSH (23), PASS (7), SCORING (T9).
CHARGERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (4), PASS (20), SCORING (T7).
CHIEFS OFFENSE: OVERALL (2), RUSH (11), PASS (1), SCORING (1).
CHIEFS DEFENSE: OVERALL (8), RUSH (15), PASS (6), SCORING (T15).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Chargers plus-3; Chiefs minus-1.
CHARGERS PLAYER TO WATCH: WRs Mike Williams and Joshua Palmer will take on added importance after Keenan Allen hurt his hamstring in a season-opening win over the Raiders. Williams and Palmer combined for just five catches for 15 yards last weekend.
CHIEFS PLAYER TO WATCH: TE Travis Kelce had 121 yards receiving during last weekend’s romp in Arizona, the 30th time he has eclipsed the century mark. He needs three more games of 100 yards to pass the retired Rob Gronkowski (32) and Tony Gonzalez (31) for the most among NFL tight ends.
KEY MATCHUP: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes against the Chargers pass defense, which picked off the Raiders’ Derek Carr three times. Mahomes opened the season by throwing for 360 yards and five touchdowns without an interception against the Cardinals.
KEY INJURIES: Chargers TE Donald Parham Jr. (hamstring) and Allen are expected to miss the game. There is a chance that CB J.C. Jackson (ankle) plays after missing Week 1. … Chiefs CB Trent McDuffie (hamstring) went on injured reserve Tuesday and K Harrison Butker (ankle) is also expected to miss the game. OG Trey Smith (ankle) was limited in practice this week.
SERIES NOTES: The Chiefs have won 13 of the past 16 games against the Chargers, though Los Angeles has won two of the past three. One of those was a January game in which Kansas City rested its key players ahead of the playoffs. … The Chargers and Chiefs were original members of the American Football League, both established in 1960. They have been in the same division ever since, first in the AFL’s Western Conference and since the 1970 merger with the NFL in the AFC West. … Kansas City coach Andy Reid is 15-6 against the Chargers. Los Angeles coach Brandon Staley is 1-1 against KC.
STATS AND STUFF: The game is the first of the NFL’s exclusive deal with Amazon Prime for Thursday night contests. … Los Angeles is trying to start 2-0 for the first time since 2012 while Kansas City is aiming for its fifth 2-0 start in the past six years. … The Chiefs have won the AFC West six straight years. … Chargers QB Justin Herbert is coming off his ninth game of at least three TD passes with no interceptions, tied with Mahomes for the most by a player in his first three seasons. … Herbert finished last season with at least 300 yards passing in five straight road games. … Williams will be going for his third straight game against Kansas City with at least 100 yards receiving and a score. … Chargers RB Austin Ekeler has scored in three straight games against the Chiefs. … LB Khalil Mack had three of the Chargers’ five sacks last week. He also forced a fumble against Las Vegas. … This is the first of five primetime games for Kansas City this season. … Mahomes is coming off his sixth career game with at least five TD passes, tied with Dan Marino and Ben Roethlisberger for fourth-most in NFL history. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are next with nine. … Mahomes is 13-2 as a starter in September. He has at least three TDs passing in 12 of them. .. Kelce has caught a pass in 128 straight games, three behind Gonzalez for the franchise record. … The Chiefs allowed 28 sacks last season, tied for third-best in the NFL. They did not allow one in Week 1 against Arizona. … Chiefs DT Chris Jones forced a fumble last week against the Cardinals. He has four sacks in his past two Thursday night games.
FANTASY TIP: Mahomes apologized to fantasy football owners before Week 1 that he would be spreading the ball around, making any Kansas City wide receiver a gamble. But not only did JuJu Smith-Schuster get eight targets against the Cardinals, one behind Kelce for the team lead, he hauled in six of them for 79 yards. And as good as the Chargers defense was last week, it allowed the Raiders’ Davante Adams to catch 10 balls for 141 yards and a score.
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