KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs have a quick turnaround after their coast-to-coast to win against the Arizona Cardinals.

They will get ready to face their divison rival and one of the most talented rosters in the NFL in the Los Angeles Chargers in what should be a fun home opener.

The Chiefs and Chargers split their matchups last year with both each grabbing a victory on the road in dramatic fashion.

This is as big as an early season game can be, with both teams expected to compete with each other for the top spot in the division and in the conference.

Let’s look at the tale-of-the tape for these two heavyweights.

QB Comparison

Where do you start? You can use an abundance of adjectives to describe just how talented these two young stars are. Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert should be quite the duel for years to come as these two are two of the best young players the league has to offer. All three of their matchups have gone down to the wire with two of them being in overtime.

Mahomes currently boasts a 2-1 record over Herbert and is coming off a five-touchdown performance where the offense looks better than advertised. Herbert is coming off of a three-touchdown performance over the Raiders but could be without his top target in Keenan Allen (more on that).

If Herbert wants to be mentioned in the same conversation with Mahomes, he must win, and this would be a step toward doing so. The edge goes to the Chiefs. Expect another exciting duel between the big-armed gunslingers.

Playmakers

The Chiefs playmakers couldn’t have had a better debut, with nine different player catching a pass. Patrick Mahomes said it would be a new player every week, and if week one was any indication, then opposing defenses are in for another long season when playing the Chiefs.

JuJu Smith-Schuster made big plays, Marquez Valdes-Scantling made timely plays, Skyy Moore had a nice play, and the running backs were also solid in the pass game. The Chiefs were attacking from everywhere. The Chargers also have a solid group of playmakers.

Keenan Allen and Mike Williams both have had big games against the Chiefs in the past, but the Chargers could be without their star receiver after suffering a hamstring injury in week one. Allen said he could possibly play but it is a “small possibly.”

The Chargers also boast one of the better running backs in the league with Austin Ekeler, but the Chiefs have the edge in this area, especially with Allen’s availabilty being uncertain.

Defense

While the Chargers boast a talented offense, their defense is also stacked, especially after their offseason in additions with Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson. They also have one of the league’s best safeties in Derwin James.

Jackson is another player whose health is in question as he missed week one with an ankle injury. He was listed as a non-participant in the Chargers injury report and is considered “50/50” for Thursday.

Mack immediately made his presence felt garnering three sacks against the Raiders including one to ice the game. The Chargers defense as a whole caused three turnovers.

The Chiefs defense had an impressive week one showing considering all the new faces and youth, but they will face a much tougher task this week. The Chiefs sacked Kyler Murray twice but did a great job of getting pressure throughout the game on the Arizona Cardinals signal-caller.

Rookies George Karlaftis and Trent McDuffie both had good debuts but McDuffie’s status for Thursday is up in the air after straining his hamstring in against the Cardinals. McDuffie played 21 snaps for the Chiefs and was not targeted once.

The Chargers have the edge on the defensive side of the ball as they have more proven playmakers.

Special Teams

Special teams can tend get overlooked but always seems to have a major impact on games. The Chiefs are usually solid on special teams, but Harrison Butker’s health could have a huge impact. The Chiefs have signed kicker Matt Ammendola just in case Butker can’t go.

The Chargers were 31st in special teams last season and look to be improved this year. In big games like these, special teams can make all the difference.

Summary

This game should have all the fireworks. Both teams have Super Bowl have Super Bowl aspirations and game-changing quarterbacks. If the Chiefs offense looks anything like last week, they should be able to eke out a win in round one of this battle with the energy of Arrowhead behind them in the home opener.

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