The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Los Angeles Chargers, 30-13. The win moves the Chiefs to 8-6 on the season and in clear control of the AFC West. The Chiefs wrap up their regular season home schedule next week against the Miami Dolphins before wrapping up the regular season on the road at the Denver Broncos. Here are the week 15 Kansas City Chiefs takeaways.
Week 15 Kansas City Chiefs Takeaways
Control of AFC West
Saturday’s triumph means Kansas City is one win away from clinching the AFC West. A victory over the Dolphins at Arrowhead in week 16 or against the Broncos in the regular season finale will give the Chiefs their first ever back-to-back division titles. This is the NFL, and stranger things have happened, but it’s hard to not feel good about the Chiefs chances of hosting a playoff game in January.
For the next two weeks victories are clearly the goal, but staying healthy is paramount. Kansas City clearly is not a perfect team, but if they want to have a chance to make some noise in the postseason, the team can not afford a significant injury. In this game alone, the Chiefs lost Kevin Pierre-Louis and Jarvis Jenkins, both of which are significant players for the Chiefs defense. There is no word yet on how long either will be out. If the team can wrap up the division next week against Miami, the Chiefs may rest some starters against the Broncos in week 17.
It seemed like almost all night long, someone in red was in Philip Rivers’ face. This is huge for a defense that runs primarily a man scheme in the secondary. The pressure forced Rivers to get rid of the ball much sooner than he would have liked and caused some errant throws that were picked off by the secondary on three different occasions.
The biggest improvement came from the interior of the line, as Chris Jones and Allen Bailey were able to beat the Chargers offensive line multiple times. The Chiefs got two sacks on Rivers, who had only been sacked 15 times heading in to this game. The pressure by Bob Sutton’s crew is what helped hold an offense that came into this game red hot to just 13 points.
Rookie of the Year
During the Chiefs 1-6 stretch, many fans and members of the media were questioning why Kareem Hunt had limited touches. Clearly, the coaching staff realized that the success of the offense has a lot to do with getting him the ball often as he had 31 total in tonight’s game. Hunts 24 carries led to 155 yards on the ground while he also added another 51 through the air on seven catches. Even with the lack of touches during the 1-6 stretch, Hunt has still carried for 1,046 yards, which is currently good for second most in the league.
While a lot of the hype has been around Alvin Kamara recently, Hunt should still be the choice for offensive rookie of the year. Hunt has more total yards and is a centerpiece on this Chiefs team. While Kamara is an electric player, the impact Hunt has had on the Chiefs team compared to Kamara’s impact in New Orleans, is not even close.