Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Kansas City Chiefs At Los Angeles Chargers

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 17: Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs drops back to throw a pass during the first quarter of the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 17, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. ( Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers throws the football during the NFL game against Miami Dolphins at the StubHub Center September 17, 2017, in Carson, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
  • Quarterback
    The Chiefs have been as impressive as any team in the league after opening the season with victories over the Patriots and Eagles. Quarterback Alex Smith has been more aggressive than he has been in the past and the Kansas City offense is more dangerous than it has been in the past. Smith is still quite athletic and he is an accurate short- and medium-range passer.
    The Chargers have yet to win a game, but if they had been able to hit last-second field goal attempts in both of their losses, they could be 2-0. Philip Rivers can be a dynamic passer who can find the weak spot in the defense and string touchdown drives together. However, Rivers will take chances and put his team at risk when it’s not necessary.
  • Offense
    The Chiefs have become a team that suddenly has quick-strike ability. It starts with second-year wideout Tyreek Hill, who is one of the fastest and most explosive players in the league. He is complemented by rookie running back Kareem Hunt, who is not quite as fast but can still hit the big plays. This has helped changed the confidence level on the team and the Chiefs can now come back from a deficit.
    The Chargers have not been able to finish the game successfully to this point, but they have excellent skill-position players who are capable of lighting up the scoreboard. Start with running back Melvin Gordon, who combines speed with make-you-miss moves. Wideout Keenan Allen is a dangerous receiver with excellent hands and speed, while TE Antonio Gates still gets it done in the red zone.
  • Defense
    The Chiefs are a nasty defensive team and they are dangerous as long as outside linebacker Justin Houston is in the lineup. Houston is one of the best pass rushers in the league and he has 3.0 sacks through the first two games. Inside linebacker Derrick Johnson is one of the hardest-hitting tacklers in the league and he has 10 tackles.
    The Chargers have solid personnel on defense, but they have a hard time coming up with the key stop at the most important moment. That’s something that head coach Anthony Lynn and defensive Gus Bradley will have to work on. DE Joey Bosa has a chance to be an impact pass rusher, while LB Jatavis Brown is a hard hitter with excellent range.
  • Special Teams
    The Chiefs should have a huge advantage in this category, as they have an explosive return man in Hill and they do a solid job in punt and kickoff coverage. Cairo Santos is a dependable placekicker, while Dustin Colquitt excels at dropping the ball inside the opponents 20.
    The Chargers have to feel snake bitten at this point because they have dropped two close games because rookie PK Younghoe Koo could not hit field goals in the final seconds against Denver and Miami. At this point, his confidence has to be shaken. The Los Angeles coverage teams are ordinary.
Look for another solid effort from the Chargers, and it would not be surprising if they led in the fourth quarter. It would be a surprise if they still had the lead after the final gun.