This was a tough one to swallow. Saturday night, the Los Angeles Chargers traveled to Arrowhead to face off against their division foes, Kansas City Chiefs. In what can only be described as a playoff atmosphere, both teams were playing to keep their playoff hopes alive. However, the hostile environment combined with the abundance of injuries throughout the game proved to be too much for the Chargers, as Kansas City walked away with a 30-13 win.
Today, we are going to break down the winners and losers from that divisional clash.
Gordon was one of the very few bright spots for the Chargers in their embarrassing loss to Kansas City. Gordon rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. He also led the team in receiving yards with 91 on the day. An all-around solid game for Gordon has inched him just 69 yards away from his first 1,000-yard rushing season and just 102 yards away from a 500-yard receiving season.
If Melvin can stay solid through the last two games, it should place him in the conversation as a top 5 NFL running back and a serious threat to opposing defenses. Personally, I believe when Gordon is running hard and downfield, he is already one of the best in the game. But due to injuries and an inconsistent offense of line early in his career, many refuse to let go of his zero touchdown season. But at the end of the day, Melvin has shown tremendous strides in his progression and I have no reason to believe he will continue to do otherwise.
It’s been a bit of an up and down season for Kareem Hunt. Through the first couple weeks, Hunt had looked like an MVP front-runner as he emerged as one of the best running backs in the game. However, over the Chiefs losing streak, Hunt wasn’t getting many touches and had looked like he hit a mid-season slump. But of course, against the Chargers of all teams, Hunt breaks out once again for a 24 carry, 155 yard game on top of 7 receptions for 51 yards. Although his MVP chances have likely faded, there is no doubt in my mind that Hunt will win rookie of the year, and will be a terror out of the backfield for years to come.
Chris Jones and Joey Bosa
This one is quick, but still an awesome winner. Shortly after Saturday nights game, Chiefs Defensive End, Chris Jones, was spotted with Chargers Defensive End, Joey Bosa. It appeared that Jones had been giving Bosa some pass rushing tips immediately following a huge win for the Chiefs. A moment that can only be described by the phrase, “Football is Family” was shared out by the NFL twitter page.
— NFL (@NFL) December 17, 2017
Chargers Playoff Hopes
Up until this game, it had looked as if nothing could stop the Chargers from becoming the second team in NFL history to start 0-4 and make the playoffs. They were the league’s feel-good story and had finally re-gained relevancy. However, now it is a long shot for Los Angeles to still be playing ball in January. Sitting at 7-7 and the eighth seed in the AFC playoff picture, below is a list of all things that would need to happen for the Chargers to end up in the playoff picture.
- Titans would need to lose both of their remaining games versus the Rams and Jaguars.
- Bills would need to lose to either the Patriots or Dolphins.
- Ravens need to win both of their remaining games versus the Colts and Bengals.
- Chargers need to win out against the Jets and Raiders.
Alternative Scenario: If the Chargers win out and the Chiefs lose out, the Chargers would win the AFC West.
We all knew it was coming. It had been far too clean for the Chargers this year, injury-wise. A team that has been plagued by them in the past had been relatively spotless.
That was, until Saturday night.
Players such as Keenan Allen, Denzel Perryman, and Austin Ekeler all went down Saturday night and didn’t return. Ekeler’s is a broken hand which will sideline him for the remainder of the season.
This is a tough loss as, despite his struggles late in games, Ekeler is a great skat-back out of the backfield. Allens was a back injury and required him to be carted off of the field which isn’t a promising sign. However, I’m optimistic as if it was serious, I imagine we would have already heard some news. As for Perryman, it seems he suffered a hamstring injury early in the contest and was also carted off of the field. One can only hope it’s nothing serious as we all saw the difference he made when he returned from injury mid-season.
–Travis Baker is a Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the Los Angeles Chargers. Follow him on Twitter @SportsFollower0.