Wednesday, February 24

Chargers-Chiefs preview

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) Justin Herbert had just turned 10 when Chiefs quarterback Chad Henne was selected by the Dolphins.

Do you think it’s wild? The Chargers QB was still in high school the last time Henne started a game.

That makes for a great showdown Sunday when Herbert, 22, who has surpassed almost all expectations during his rookie season, starts for the Chargers in Kansas City.

Across from him will be Henne, 35, who replaces Patrick Homes as the Chiefs (14-1) rest their starters with the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs already secured.

“I mean, it’s the opportunity to come out and start in the NFL. You don’t take it for granted, ” said Henne, whose previous start was Sept. 21, 2014, when the Jaguars benched him in favor of rookie BlakBottleses.

“Play like you’re 20,” Henne added with a wry smile. “ Come out and be you. ”

Or at least like you’re 22: Herbert won’t turn 23 until March. However, his first year with the Chargers (6-9) has been a hit everywhere except in the win-loss column, where the playoffs will once again be missed.

Since replacinTrodod Taylor for his Week 2 game against Kansas City, Herbert has thrown for 4,034 yards with 28 touchdowns, setting an NFL rookie record for TD passes in a season. He also set a rookie record with seven 300-yard passing games, and needs 340 passing yards against the Chiefs, who hope to rest most of their starters, to break Andrew Luck’s rookie record of 4,374 yards set during the season. 2012.

“You blink and you realize you’re in Week 17,” Herbert said, “and it feels like yesterday when we played the Kansas City Chiefs. I think it happened very quickly; this season has happened very quickly. It seems like it was. Yesterday ”.

Just because the Chiefs are resting the majority of their starters, including quarterback Patrick Homes, and the Chargers are out of playoff contention, there are still plenty of reasons for both teams to do their best.

The Chiefs can match the 2011 Packers with the best record of a Super Bowl champion with a win, not to mention breaking the franchise record by winning their 11th straight game. They’d also feel a lot better starting their coveted goodbye knowing they played well, given they struggled on offense in last week’s win over Atlanta.

The Chargers, meanwhile, have won their last three games behind winning series in the fourth quarter or overtime, and removing their biggest impediment to progress in the AFC West would crown a strong finale heading into the offseason.

“We’ve always had a good plan against these guys,” said Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, whose team led the Chiefs into overtime in Week 2. “They’re a tough opponent. We’ve had some success against them when We haven’t handed the ball over, but that’s why they are the world champions. They have these guys who wreak havoc. ”


Both teams are likely to seat anyone with an injury. For the Chiefs, that means wide receivers Sammy Watkins (calf) anTyreeek Hill (hamstring), running backs Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle) and Le’Veon Bell (knee), offensive lineman MikReamersrs (back)Andnd linebacker Ben Niemann (hamstring).

For the Chargers, defensive end Joey Bosa (shin and concussion), offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga (foot), safetShawnwn Jenkins (ankle) ancorner backsks Casey Hayward Jr. (hamstring) have been ruled out. Wide receiver Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry will also miss the game after being placed on the reserve / COVID-19 list.


Los Angeles hasn’t won three straight division games since it closed the 2013 season with wins over the Broncos, Raiders and, coincidentally, the Chiefs, who also rested several starters in that game. A win on Sunday would accomplish that along with giving the Chargers their first four-game winning streak since the 2018 season.


The Chiefs’ EriEnemymy is among the hottest names on the coaching carousel next week, and coach Andy Reid indicated he could give his offensive coordinator a bigger role Sunday like an audition. “Anything that needs to be done there will be done,” Reid said. “I have no problem with all those things We


There’s a good chance Chiefs tight end TraviHencece will have Sunday off after dealing with some pesky injuries in recent weeks. At this point, he is second in the league with 1,416 receiving yards, which means he won’t become the first tight end to lead the league. He has already set the Chiefs’ record with 105 receptions this season.


Herbert isn’t the only rookie to make a big impression in Los Angeles. His first-round teammate Kenneth Murray needs two tackles to pass Derwin James at the most by a Chargers rookie since 2000. The linebacker has started every game and played 92 percent of defensive plays, and He only trails the Panthers’ Jeremy Chinn in most tackles. all newbies.

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