Chiefs vs Chargers Preview & Free Pick [December 16th 2021]

Kansas City (9-4) at LA Chargers (8-5)
When: Thursday, December 16th 2021
Where: SoFi Stadium,
Los Angeles, CA

Time: 8:20 ET | TV: FOX
Opening Odds: Kansas City -3/49.5

First place in the crowded AFC West is on the line Thursday night as the Los Angeles Chargers host the Kansas City Chiefs at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. Both teams have separated themselves with Denver and Las Vegas and it will probably be a two-team race between the Chiefs and Bolts. Kansas City has put their early season woes behind them and have won six-straight to take a one-game lead over Los Angeles in the division. However, the Chargers took the first meeting 30-24 at Arrowhead Stadium and will have the upper-hand with a season sweep. L.A. won the turnover margin 4-0 and outscored the Chiefs 16-7 in the fourth quarter. It was a back-and-forth game all day, with the Chargers tying it on a 24-yard field goal with 2:14 left and winning on a Justin Herbert to Mike Williams 4-yard TD pass with 32 seconds remaining.


The Chiefs current winning streak has been buoyed by their surprisingly stingy defense. In the last six games, Kansas City has forced 16 turnovers and allowed an average of 311.7 yards and just 10.9 points. They are coming off back-to-back wins over division rivals Denver and Las Vegas and held each to just nine points. The Chiefs have won seven straight road games against the Chargers and head coach Andy Reid is now 39-13 versus the AFC West. However, the Chiefs are 0-3-1 ATS in the last four meetings with Los Angeles. Kansas City will come into this road contest as a 3-point favorite with a total set at 52.

Kansas City has allowed 17 points or fewer in six straight games – all wins. On Sunday, the defense forced a Raiders’ fumble on the first offensive play of the game and returned it for a touchdown on the way to a 48-9 blowout – the largest margin of victory in the history of the series. Tyrann Mathieu had an interception and fumble recovery, while Mike Hughes forced two fumbles and had that first play touchdown return. Kansas City is the first team since the 2014 Seahawks to allow fewer than 10 points four times in a five-game span. Patrick Mahomes completed 20-of-24 for 258 yards and two scores Sunday, while Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for two touchdowns. Mahomes ranks fifth in the NFL with 3,642 passing yards with 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

The Chargers played without two of their most important players Sunday in receiver Keenan Allen (COVID) and safety Derwin James (hamstring), but still beat up the New York Giants 37-21. They also lost running back Austin Ekeler in the third quarter to and ankle injury and is questionable for Thursday. Ekler came up big in the first meeting with Kansas City, rushing for 55 yards and another 52 receiving yards and a touchdown on six catches. Allen, meanwhile, caught eight passes in that game for 50 receiving yards and a score. Herbert threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns last week including a 59-yarder to Jalen Guyton. Herbert became the first player ever with at least 30 TD passes in each of his first two seasons. He ranks fourth in the NFL with 3,822 passing yards with 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Los Angeles could be without Rashawn Slater, who is in COVID-19 protocol. The Chargers already are playing two backups along their offensive line.

The Chiefs are on a roll right now and I don’t think we’ve seen the peak yet. They should have easily beat the Chargers in the first meeting but turned it over four times. They have been holding on to the ball a lot better since and should put up some points on a mediocre Chargers defense.

Pick: Chiefs -3
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