Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers Prepared to Battle in Mexico City on Monday Night

The battle of Mexico City.

The Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs head south of the border in what should prove to be a crucial game moving forward in the AFC West.

With a somewhat surprising 6-4 record, the Chiefs need to win this game in order to maintain their lead in the division. They also can’t afford a loss here if they want to stay within reach of one of those top two seeds in the AFC.

Playing the role of underdog, the Chargers have their backs against the wall in this one. Sitting at third place in the AFC West with a 4-6 record, a loss here would all but crush any chances of the postseason, adding to an already underwhelming year for L.A.

The Chargers do have an obvious path to victory here: run the ball down Kansas City’s throat.

Other than the Bengals, no team has been worse at defending the run this year than Kansas City. With two very competent backs in Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler, the Chargers should feast on that dreadful run defense.

The only setback here may be the Chargers’ offensive line. With starting right tackle Sam Trevi undergoing meniscus surgery, second-year tackle Trent Scott will be thrust into the starting role. If left tackle Russell Okung can’t go due to a groin injury, that means rookie tackle Trey Pipkins will be forced to protect Philip Rivers’s blindside. Not ideal.

But if all goes well and the O-line holds up, not only would you be attacking Kansas City’s weakness, you’d also be running the clock and keeping Patrick Mahomes on the sideline. At this point, that may be the best way for any team to slow the young quarterback down.

In order for the Chiefs to win this game, they’re going to have to get their running game going as well. Even though the Chiefs currently have the best passing offense in the NFL, it won’t be that easy Monday night. The Chargers have a very respectable secondary, only giving up 207 passing yards per game to put them at fifth in the league in that category.

The Chiefs are going to need Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy to step their game up and help keep the opposing defense guessing. If Kansas City can get the play-action going, that may open up some passing lanes for Mahomes and spell trouble for the Chargers.

While the Chargers are losing offensive linemen, the Chiefs are looking to get two of their own back. Left tackle Eric Fisher and right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif both were full participants at practice on Friday with hopes of starting Monday night. If both can not only play, but play well, Mahomes may have enough time to sit back and wait for his receiver to get open if his run game fails him.

Looking at this game at face value, you’d assume the Chiefs will take care of business and walk away with the win. But seeing as the Chargers are a borderline desperate team right now, a win won’t come as easy as the Chiefs would like.

Divisional games are always tough, regardless of records.

Look for the Chiefs to jump out to an early lead but for that horrendous defense to once again blow the game and allow the Chargers to fight their way back and win.

Prediction: Chargers 30, Chiefs 24

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