Chargers vs. Chiefs: Week 17 storylines
It’s The Final Countdown!
What a hell of a season it has been. After the Steelers blew out the Chiefs in Week 4 they had a lot of questions to answer going into the bye week. Since the bye week the Chiefs have gone 9-2 with a chance at another bye week in the postseason.
The Chargers on the other hand went into their bye week at 4-6, and have since gone 1-4. But you can’t blame the Chargers too much for their disastrous season. In week one they lost their star wide receiver Keenan Allen and it was all down hill from there with 21 players on IR.
The Chiefs despite numerous injuries are as mentioned before still going strong. It’s that time to go ahead and take a look at what to watch for in this season finale.
First Round Bye?
The Chiefs enter Week 17 for their first chance at a first round bye in the playoffs since 2003. Here’s a brief look at how the Chiefs have looked in the past with a 1st round bye:
January 11, 2004
Chiefs lose to the Peyton Manning led colts 38-31. The Colts then lost to the Patriots in the conference championship to the eventual Super Bowl champs.
January 4th, 1998
Chiefs lose to the eventual Super Bowl champions the Denver Broncos 14-10 for John Elway’s first ring.
January 7th, 1996
Chiefs lose to the Indianapolis Colts 10-7 in one of the coldest and lower-scoring games in playoff history.
While it’s a small sampling, it’s fair to say the Chiefs don’t have a great history with a first round bye. On the bright side, the Chiefs do have Andy Reid at their side this time around. Andy Reid has proven to be one of the best coaches all time following a bye with a record of 16-2. So perhaps having a first round bye wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all. The Chiefs need to beat the Chargers and have the Derek Carr-less Raiders lose to the Broncos and it’s theirs.
Where Is Tyreek Hill?
Is the question the Chargers defense should be asking themselves all Sunday afternoon. Tyreek Hill has done a lot this season, but did something he hasn’t done much or at all this season. Hill lined up in the backfield often and took six carries for 95 yards and a touchdown.
As we’ve all learned by now Hill is a threat anytime he steps onto the field. Hill has only lined up for 39% of all possible snaps this season and has accounted for 28.9% of the Chiefs touchdowns this season. Tyreek Hill is the top scorer on the Chiefs outside of kicker Cairo Santos. If Tyreek Hill manages to get 2 more touchdowns he will tie the Chiefs rookie record for touchdowns. So watch out San Diego, because Hill will be hungry to score.
Spencer Ware’s 1,000-yard season?
Chiefs have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since Jamaal Charles had one in 2014. Spencer Ware just needs 79 yards today to hit 1,000 against the 10th ranked rush defense in the NFL. However, Ware has yet to top 79 yards since Week 6 against the Raiders when he rushed for 131 yards.
On top of that Ware is dealing with a rib injury he suffered last week, and was limited in all three practices this week. Ware will be expected to be limited today as well if he plays at all. Expect Charcandrick West and Tyreek Hill to get a fair number of touches out of the backfield.
Speaking of Hill…
Tyreek Hill Rookie Touchdown Record?
Tyreek Hill is just two touchdowns away from beating former Chiefs rookie Abner Haynes record of 12 touchdowns. If the name doesn’t sound familiar to you it’s probably because the Record was set back in 1960. In 1960 the Chiefs were in their first year of existence as the Dallas Texans.
Over the last three weeks Hill has four total touchdowns with two by ground, one by air, and one by return. Hill hasn’t had a reception since Week 14, but has had seven rushing attempts for 163 yards and two touchdowns since then. Spencer Ware is expected to be limited for the game today. Look for Tyreek Hill to continue to get looks out of the backfield.
We’ve had 16 weeks of exhilarating football this season, and I have to say I’m very proud of what Andy Reid and the Chiefs have accomplished this season. It’s hard to pick what has been my favorite storyline of the season. So please, in the comment section below tell me what was your favorite moment of the season. Also, what are you looking forward to most next season? Let us know!
Thank you again to Arrowhead Addict and Matt Verderame for hosting my articles this season. Can’t wait to see you all in the playoffs!