Los Angeles Chargers: 4 bold predictions for Week 2 vs. Chiefs
With a Los Angeles Chargers Week 2 game scheduled against the Kansas City Chiefs, a lot of eyes will be on a pivotal, early-season AFC West matchup between the division’s two best squads. Ahead of the Chargers-Chiefs game, we’ll be making our Chargers Week 2 predictions.
Coming off their Week 1 win over the Las Vegas Raiders, the Chargers were able to start their 2022 season on the right note, with most of their offensive pieces clicking.
Justin Herbert was yet again a star, Austin Ekeler produced in both the rushing and passing game, and Keenan Allen (before his injury) was looking like his old self. But this team will need to do more than what they produced this past week, seeing as how Patrick Mahomes and company just hung 44 points on the Arizona Cardinals in a game that was never close.
*Watch NFL games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
4. Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert sets career bests against the Kansas City Chiefs
Having thrown 10 TDs against only 2 interceptions across four games when facing the Chiefs, Herbert has been a man on a mission in their critical divisional matchup. Surprisingly enough, Herbert’s best career performance against the Chiefs came back in his rookie season in 2020, in the final game of his first regular season.
Having completed 71 percent of his passes for 302 yards and 3 TDs, Herbert also ran in his fifth rushing score of the year that day too. But these numbers have all been around long enough, so it’s time Herbert breaks them.
Not only will Herbert surpass his passing yardage total of 302, but he will also put on a passing TD clinic on Thursday, throwing for four scores, even without Allen suiting up – for fantasy purposes, this is going to be a fun one.
3. Los Angeles Chargers WRs Josh Palmer and Mike Williams both go for 100 yards and a TD
With Allen missing at least one game while he recovers, both Mike Williams and Josh Palmer get elevated in the passing game. As Herbert produces in a big way Thursday, both of his top receivers will feast.
Williams is the expected recipient of an increased target share, as he is the WR2 in the offense, right behind Allen. Having produced a huge year (76/1,146/9) last season, he is looking to replicate that success and should receive ample chances to do so. Having only crossed the century mark four times last year, Williams would put his stamp on the beginning of another strong year.
Palmer is the wild card here – always mentioned as that sleeper option in the Chargers offense that is ready to step into a larger role, he always seems to be stuck in the pecking order behind Allen, Ekeler, Williams, and others.
Even with Williams going off, Palmer should see plenty of work himself to get him over the 100-yard mark, which would be the first in his young career. Expecting Williams to hit that mark makes sense, but when Palmer does too, this offense can be unstoppable.
2. Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler hits paydirt 3 times, twice through the air
The Chargers have to have one of the league’s most potent offensive attacks if they want to survive the gauntlet that is the AFC West. Ekeler is a huge reason why Herbert, Allen, and others can be so successful through the air, and he will put that on full display on Thursday.
Kansas City’s defense looked solid enough last week, helping bottle up Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals. But with the success that Ekeler and company have all had against this unit in the past, it looks to be a very long night upcoming for the Chiefs.
Ekeler has a few boom games each and every season, so a three-touchdown performance would be just another entrant into that group. Producing 75+ yards both on the ground and through the air is certainly not out of the question, especially with the type of game that Herbert is projected to have.
Hauling in three scores, including two from Herbert through the air, would have this Chiefs defense on its heels the entire night, which just so happens to be where they exactly want them to be.
1. Los Angeles Chargers force multiple Mahomes turnovers, score 30+ points, and win
An MVP-esque performance from Mahomes last week out in the desert showed that he certainly is not going anywhere. After being sort of forgotten over the offseason when predicting the best QBs for the 2022 NFL season, Mahomes set the secondary for the Cardinals on fire to the tune of 5 passing TDs and only 9 incompletions.
But the Chargers’ defense is a pretty solid unit, and even with Mahomes on top of his game still, they should be able to rattle him to the tune of multiple turnovers. Five interceptions across seven career games against the Chargers is a bit high, but plenty of zero-INT games help make that look better.
Even if JC Jackson remains out and misses his second consecutive game, the defense will be more than ready for Mahomes. The deadly pass rush of Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack will do its best to force Mahomes out of the pocket on each dropback, and the secondary is still strong, led by super safety Derwin James.
By forcing multiple Mahomes turnovers, scoring over 30 points, and securing a 2-0 start to their season, the Chargers will be able to cement themselves into the Super Bowl conversation early on. Whether they have earned that inclusion remains to be seen, but they have the roster to make sure they remain in that conversation for the entirety of the year.