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The Chargers are just two days away from taking on the Chiefs in a heated division battle.
After suffering their first loss of the season last Sunday against the Cowboys, Los Angeles has adjustments to be made in order to avoid going 1-2 and falling to last place in the AFC West.
With that being said, here’s a look at three things that L.A. must clean up heading into the Week 3 matchup against Kansas City.
Execute in the red zone
Against the Chiefs, the best defense is offense. The Chargers have done a fine job of getting the ball up and down the field, averaging 416 yards per game. However, Los Angeles is only averaging 18.5 points per game, which ranks No. 27 in the NFL. The issue stems from the inability to score when they’re in the red zone, only converting three times on 10 trips.
Whether it is running the football or getting tight end Donald Parham involved more, the red zone play-calling and execution must be crisp. With an opponent like Kansas City, L.A. can not afford to leave points off the scoreboard altogether or trade field goals for touchdowns or else the Chiefs’ high-powered offense will leave them in the dust.
The Chargers have committed the fifth-most penalties (18), with the majority of them coming last Sunday against the Cowboys (12). While of a couple of them were controversial calls, Los Angeles also had a handful of them that were all technical and mental.
It is going to be extremely difficult for L.A. to beat the Chiefs if they can’t play a clean game through all four quarters, which means the team must stay composed on all three phases.
Stay disciplined against the run
The Chiefs have arguably the most explosive offense in the league and while they are going to look to beat the Chargers through the air, they know they can exploit Los Angeles on the ground after surrendering 126 and 198 yards in the first two games, respectively.
With Justin Jones out for the second-straight week, Linval Joseph, Jerry Tillery and Christian Covington all need to really step it up against a new and improved Kansas City offensive line.
Those guys must gain initial leverage and be stronger at the point of attack to prevent holes from being opened up, and defenders at the second and third levels must diagnose quickly and rally to the football to avoid missed tackles.