NFL Free Pick | Chiefs @ Chargers

Once again, let me reiterate - I hate the Browns! Now, that the ugly loss is out of my system, let’s try and find some love in Monday night’s Chiefs-Chargers game. Finding that love might be a little difficult since we are unsure of which Chargers team will show. Will it be the let’s-beat-Green-Bay-26-11 Chargers or the Philip-Rivers-3-picks-lose-to-Oakland Chargers?

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Game: Kansas City Chiefs (6-4, 5-5 ATS) at Los Angeles Chargers (4-6, 3-6-1 ATS)

When: 8:15 PM ET, Monday, November 18, 2019

Where: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico

Current Betting Line: KC -5   Total: 53

TV Coverage: ESPN


 

It might not matter which Chargers team shows up Monday. Monday night’s game will be played in Mexico City at an elevation of over 7,000 feet. Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn actually had his team practice at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. The Chiefs didn’t make any changes to their practice plans other than hydrating more.

Because the game will be played at elevation, it might help to take a look at both teams’ performances in Denver recently. In three starts in Denver with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, the Chiefs are 3-0 SU and ATS. Mahomes returned last week after suffering a dislocated kneecap. He threw for 446 yards and three touchdowns though the Chiefs did lose to Tennessee.


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In their last five trips to Denver, Los Angeles is averaging just 20.8 points per game. Rivers, the Chargers quarterback, has played 13 career games in Denver. He has completed 62.2 percent of his passes and has thrown 16 interceptions. That could be a problem.

Rivers is third in the NFL in picks this year with 10. The Chiefs pass defense isn’t all that great. Kansas City allows 245 passing yards per game. Where the Chargers might give the Chiefs problems is running the ball.

Melvin Gordon ran for a season-high 108 yards last week and totaled 166 yards from scrimmage against Kansas City the last time the two teams played. Gordon’s performance helped the Chargers beat the Chiefs last December. It was the Chargers first victory over Kansas City in ten tries. It’s worth noting that the Chiefs’ run defense is 31st in the league. If you’re following along, that’s not very good.

Related: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers Preview and Prediction

So, what does all this mean? Well, the elevation thing might be a factor, but both teams will struggle with the same problem. The Chiefs get OT Eric Fisher back and should have OT Cam Erving as well which means trouble for the Chargers. With Mahomes back at the helm of the offense, the Chiefs should be even sharper this week.

Now, the Chiefs are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against the Chargers. More importantly, Kansas City is 6-0 ATS when playing the Chargers on the road. The game is on the long road - to Mexico - and the Chiefs are the visiting team. Kansas City has won 23 of the last 25 games it has played against AFC West Division opponents.

That makes this a little easier. The Chiefs are simply better than the Chargers. With the band back together on offense, it won’t matter what the defense does. Who knows, Rivers might even help the Chiefs defense with a few picks. It’s all Chiefs -5.

NFL Free Pick: Kansas City Chiefs -5

Pick by Coach Rick

About the Author

A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.

His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.

When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.