The first Thursday Night Football was a bit of a letdown, but the Sunday slate of games did not disappoint.
We saw massive upsets and nail-biters. Kickers around the country missed game-winners, and we had our first tie of the season. You can’t predict an entire season after a single game, but one thing is for sure. The AFC West division is going to be as good as advertised.
The Chiefs dominated against the Arizona Cardinals in their season opener. Patrick Mahomes was practically perfect for Kansas City, and the offense looked just as dominant without Tyreek Hill.
In a divisional matchup, the Chargers took care of business against the Las Vegas Raiders. The stifling defense helped LA win the turnover battle, and Herbert appears ready to take the next step in his third season.
These two teams are poised to have elite seasons, but how will they look against each other? We’ll find out on Thursday night. Here are some details to keep in mind and an NFL pick for the Thursday Night Football matchup.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Thursday, September 15, 2022 – 08:15 PM EDT at Arrowhead Stadium
The Early Injury Bug
Injuries are the worst thing about football, and many star players got hurt in the first week of the season. For the Chargers, star receiver Keenan Allen went down with a hamstring injury. He did not return, and the offense took a step back without him.
We’ll have to wait and see how severe this injury is. If Allen misses this game, the offense will take a massive hit in a matchup where they need to go punch-for-punch with the Chiefs.
Herbert has other targets, and he is capable of going through his progression to find open receivers. Allen was easily the top target of the offense before he got hurt in the season opener.
The Chargers’ Stifling Defense
Los Angeles had plenty of big plays by the defense. They had six sacks and snagged three interceptions against the Raiders. Khalil Mack was brought on to wreak havoc in the AFC West, and he did just that against his former team.
JC Jackson was unable to play and this allowed Davante Adams to dominate against the Chargers’ defense. Even if Jackson doesn’t play, the Chiefs don’t have a wide receiver as good as Adams.
Travis Kelce will be the top option in the offense, which means linebackers like Kenneth Murray and safeties like Derwin James will be in charge of stopping him.
The Home of the Chiefs
Kansas City has one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL. Arrowhead Stadium gets rowdy on gameday, and this will be the first home game for Kansas City this year.
If you’re going to play in Arrowhead, it’s better for the Chargers to play early in the year. Weather won’t be a massive factor. Also, the Chargers have plenty of experience handling the hostile crowd. In fact, it can feel like a road game when the Chargers play at home.
If we’re looking for factors beyond the game, playing at home will help Kansas City. If they looked this good on the road in Week 1, they should be ready to dominate in Week 2 back at home.
However, will that be enough? Let’s go ahead and make our picks.
Thursday Night Football Week 2 Picks
The Chiefs have one of the best offenses in the NFL, but the Chargers improved drastically on defense. The team has a good shot of winning the division, and this game would be a big step in the right direction.
Los Angeles knows how important this game is. Expect the Chargers to throw out some exotic blitzes and trick plays on offense. In terms of motivation, this will mean more to them. Stealing a road game against the divisional favorite would be massive.
Because of this, I’m picking the Chargers to cover. Because of how explosive both offenses can be, I’m picking the over. The Chargers use analytics, and this should help maximize points in this game. They will take risks, and they are good enough for those risks to pay off.
NFL Pick: Over 54 (-107) at PointsBet
NFL Pick: Chargers +3.5 (-110) at UniBet