The first ever Thursday Night Football game presented by Amazon will feature the Kansas City Chiefs playing against the Los Angeles Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium.
Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season kicks off with an absolute bang. This AFC West matchup between the Chargers and Chiefs is the most captivating of any games on this week’s slate. Especially considering both the Chiefs and Chargers are coming off of dominant performances this past weekend, with the Chiefs coming off a 44-21 victory over the Arizona Cardinals and the Chargers beating the Raiders 24-19 this past Sunday.
This Thursday Night matchup will feature many Pro Bowl players from both teams. This list includes the likes of quarterbacks Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes, pass catchers like Travis Kielce, Mike Williams, and JuJu Smith-Schuster, pass rushers like Chris Jones, Khalil Mack, and Joey Bosa, and defensive backs like Derwin James Jr., Justin Reid, and potentially J.C. Jackson. Regardless of whose offense or defense is on the field, this game will feature some of the best players in the league on every play.
The matchup to watch Thursday night is the Chiefs’ offense against the Chargers’ defense. Both of these units put up dominant performances against their respective opponents in Week 1 of the NFL season.
The Chargers defense held the Raiders’ offense, which is considered significantly improved, to a measly 19 total points. The Chargers’ defense played a significant role in the team’s victory, as they totaled six sacks, nine quarterback hits, five tackles for loss, six pass deflections, and three interceptions. The defense dominated all phases of the ball. Whether it was Khalil Mack wreaking havoc in the Raiders’ backfield or Bryce Callahan deflecting passes and securing an interception, it was an inspiring performance to witness as a Chargers fan.
On the other hand, the Chiefs’ offense put the entire league on notice while scoring 44 points against the Cardinals’ defense on Sunday. NFL media widely debated whether the Chiefs offense would struggle in 2022, considering they lost 3x First-Team All-Pro Wide Receiver Tyreek Hill in a trade to the Miami Dolphins.
Despite losing his top receiver, Patrick Mahomes still managed to throw for 360 passing yards and five touchdowns with 0 interceptions and the highest quarterback rating in Week 1 (144.2). It became apparent very early in the game that Mahomes would be able to successfully distribute the ball to the Chiefs’ assortment of pass catchers, as nine different players had a reception in the contest.
It will be exciting to see these two units facing off on the same field this early into the season. Past seasons have proven that setting season-long expectations based on a Week 1 performance isn’t a great idea for plenty of NFL franchises. However, the Chargers’ defensive and Chiefs’ offensive units set a precedent in their teams’ first regular season contests.
The Chiefs’ offensive line is significantly better than the Raiders’ offensive line that the Chargers’ defensive line faced last Sunday. The Chargers’ defensive backfield is much more established and talented than the Cardinals’ equivalent that just got ripped to shreds by Mahomes and the Chiefs offense. This could make up for high-level battles at every level of the field on Thursday night.
As for the Chargers’ offense matching up against the Chiefs’ defense, don’t be too concerned about the Chargers’ ability to move the ball up and down the field, as Justin Herbert has never failed to put up a resilient effort against the division rivals.
The critical factor in their matchup will be whether or not the Chargers can convert in crucial situations, such as 3rd downs, 4th downs, and redone opportunities. Scoring touchdowns, as opposed to field goals, and maintaining control of the football will be crucial for the Chargers’ hopes of a victory in Week 2.
This will be no easy task, especially considering the team will be without star Wide Receiver Keenan Allen, who has already been ruled out due to a hamstring suffered this past Sunday. With that said, the team’s chances increase if players like Mike Williams, Gerald Everett, Joshua Palmer, and Austin Ekeler can carry the weight of the offensive production.
Regardless of the game’s outcome, it will be exciting and captivating for anyone considering themselves a football fan. It’ll be fascinating to watch two of the NFL’s most talented franchises face off this early into the season and set the tone for the race for the AFC West division.