The Kansas City Chiefs (7-2) are gearing up to face the Los Angeles Chargers (5-4) in Week 11.
Just as we have over the past six seasons, the Chiefs Wire staff will offer its weekly predictions for each Chiefs game. Below you’ll find all of our picks for Kansas City’s Week 11 matchup against the Chargers on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 7:20 p.m. CT at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
Charles Goldman's prediction:
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Even if Mike Williams and Keenan Allen are back and 100% this week, I like the Chiefs’ chances in this game. The defense is hitting its stride at the right time. They faced a similar challenge in the trenches a week ago against a Jaguars offensive line allowing the second-fewest sacks in the league and they ended up with five. One of the reasons for that has been some really nice coverage from their young secondary.
The Chiefs’ offense proved a week ago that they can still score at will without their top receivers on the field. Patrick Mahomes has proven this season that he can get it done by spreading the ball around with a league-leading 10 players with touchdown receptions this year.
I’m also expecting a bounce-back performance from the Chiefs’ special teams in Week 11. They’re coming off of one of the worst performances in Dave Toub’s K.C. career and you can rest assured they were coached hard in practice. The return units, coverage units and block units will all look sharp and perhaps Harrison Butker will have his first flawless week since his return from injury.
As for the Chargers, I’m worried they might be a bit desperate for a win. Their season could effectively be riding on the outcome of this game. That could lead to some mistakes on the field if they start to press. It could also lead to some questionable decision-making from Brandon Staley.
Chiefs 33, Chargers 24
Nick Roesch's prediction:
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The stars are aligning for the Chargers in this matchup. They will likely get Mike Williams and Keenan Allen back from injury, while the Chiefs will be without Juju Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman. In a way, I’m excited to see guys like Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore get increased playing time, but the steadiness of Smith-Schuster will be missed.
The good news for the Chiefs is that the Chargers are awful against the run. This is a big opportunity for Isiah Pacheco, who is coming off the best performance of his young career last week. I will also be interested to see if Toney or Moore get some carries in the way that Hardman did before his injury.
I’ll also be keeping a close eye on Trent McDuffie, who has played well thus far but has yet to face any high-profile receivers. Keenan Allen is a seasoned vet and Mike Williams has one of the best combinations of size and speed in the NFL. We’re going to learn some things about McDuffie in this one.
At the end of the day, I can’t bet against the Chiefs when it comes to playing against an AFC West team, especially when they can take a commanding lead in the division. I think we see a rare commitment to the running game and Pacheco has his first 100-yard performance, with Jerrick McKinnon making some plays as well.
Chiefs 27, Chargers 20
Ed Easton Jr.'s prediction:
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The Kansas City Chiefs are again faced with a crucial prime-time matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. The teams will have their third straight evening game this Sunday night after being flexed into the spot by the league as control of the AFC West is at stake.
The Chiefs will rely on the running game for the second consecutive week with another healthy dose of Isiah Pacheco mixed with some Clyde Edwards-Helaire receptions out of the backfield. Another impressive game from Patrick Mahomes as he builds his case for a second league MVP award with touchdown tosses to Travis Kelce and Kadarius Toney. The offense will control the time of possession and effectively limit the opportunities for Justin Herbert and the Chargers’ offense.
On defense, the catalyst will be Frank Clark, returning fresh from his suspension and seeking his first highly-productive game of the year. Trent McDuffie will be challenged often, but will be a vital piece since he wasn’t available in the Week 2 matchup. Chiefs hold off the Chargers in regulation maintaining total control of the AFC West.
Chiefs 35, Chargers 27
Wesley Roesch's prediction:
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The Chargers always play the Chiefs like it’s their Super Bowl, and this week it really is their Super Bowl. If the Chargers lose, they may have a tough time even making the playoffs, let alone winning the AFC West. Their season is on the line big time.
The Chiefs have slightly less to play for since they’ll remain first in the AFC West regardless of the outcome, but they don’t want to lose the No. 1 spot in the conference. A win would also pretty much solidify a division victory so K.C. could focus on their AFC standing.
With all that in mind, I expect this to be a close one, like always. The last four games between these two teams in which Patrick Mahomes started at QB were decided by six points or fewer. This shouldn’t be any different, especially with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams returning for L.A.
The problem for the Chargers is that they don’t have Joey Bosa, which means that the four-man rush they usually bank on isn’t going to work this time around. The Chiefs should be able to put up more points and may even establish the run better with Isiah Pacheco beginning to hit his stride.
Overall, I think the Chiefs win a tough shootout-style game. I expect a big game from Kadarius Toney as well with JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman out due to injuries.
Chiefs 33, Chargers 27