Below are 10 quick-hitting insights entering the Chargers’ Week 15 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs:
1) A win Thursday night against the Chiefs will clinch the Chargers’ first playoff berth since 2013. Los Angeles will win the AFC West if the following happens over the next three weeks: i) it wins out and ii) the Chiefs lose at Seattle in Week 16 or at home vs. Oakland in Week 17.
2) Even without a win Thursday, there are five scenarios in which the Chargers can clinch a playoff spot in Week 15, per NFL Communications: i) Dolphins (at MIN) loss or tie and Steelers (vs. NE) loss; ii) Dolphins loss or tie and Ravens (vs. TB) loss or tie; iii) Dolphins loss or tie, Colts (vs. DAL) loss or tie and Titans (at NYG) loss or tie; iv) Steelers loss, Colts loss or tie and Titans loss or tie; and v) Ravens loss or tie, Colts loss or tie and Titans loss or tie.
3) Los Angeles’ special teams unit looks markedly different at key spots compared to in Week 1’s matchup against the Chiefs: new kicker (Michael Badgley), punter (Donnie Jones) and punt/kick returner (Desmond King).
4) Badgley was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week after going four-of-four on field goal attempts and booting a franchise-record 59-yarder. The rookie kicker is now 20-of-21 on extra points and 14-of-15 on field goal attempts (93.3 percent) to start his NFL career.
5) After the Rams lost to the Chicago Bears 15-6 last Sunday night, the Chargers and Chiefs became the only two teams that have scored at least 20 points in every game this season.
6) Los Angeles’ last Thursday game was in 2017 against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day – a 28-6 victory at AT&T Stadium. The Chargers have won their last two Thursday games.
7) The Chargers are 6-0 outside of Los Angeles County; each time they’ve gotten on a plane this season, they’ve won.
8) Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones has at least one sack in each of his last nine games – a total of 11.5 on the season. Jones sacked Philip Rivers in Arrowhead Stadium last season.
9) Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill’s last three games against the Chargers: 17 receptions for 334 yards and four touchdowns, and a 91-yard punt return for a touchdown. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce’s last three games against the Chargers: eight catches for 53 yards.
10) The Chargers’ last win in Kansas City came on Nov. 24, 2013 – a 41-38 victory over the Chiefs. Rivers threw for 392 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Keenan Allen caught nine passes for 124 yards.