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AFC West: How the Chargers Stack up with the Chiefs in 2020


The Athletic's Nate Taylor joined Monday's episode of “Chargers Weekly” to break down the Kansas City Chiefs' offseason.

It's the first of three installments on the podcast that break down the Bolts' AFC West rivals. On Wednesday, the Las Vegas Raiders take focus. Next week, it's the Denver Broncos.

Highlights from the conversation with Taylor are below:

Notable moves made by the Chiefs this offseason

"The biggest sort of piece in all of this is, the team had to decide whether they were going to keep Chris Jones, the talented defensive tackle who's been really impactful for them the last four seasons. Obviously, he was a second-round draft pick. They franchise-tagged him and are, I'm assuming, in the next coming days and weeks going to try to figure out a long-term extension with him. But, he'll be a pivotal moment into how their offseason grade goes for, say, if it's an A, that obviously means you keep Chris Jones. You maybe sign him to a long-term deal.

"[Quarterback] Patrick Mahomes is up to make, maybe the biggest contract in NFL history because the league and the team has sort of suggested that, 'Hey, we want to get this deal done before you ever play another snap in the NFL,' just because of what he's accomplished already. But they were able to restructure their deal with [wide receiver] Sammy Watkins. Interestingly enough, I think a lot of people thought they were going to go defense early in the draft. Instead, they went with Clyde Edwards-Helaire, a talented running back out of LSU. They've added some defensive players towards the back-end of the draft, primarily at the cornerback position. So, it's interesting to see can the team basically keep its core and replicate what they did in 2019."

How the Chargers stack up with the Chiefs in 2020

"Obviously, we know that what the Chargers did in terms of solidifying their offensive line. Their secondary's going to be much better than it was a year ago with adding Chris Harris Jr. I'm eager to see when [quarterback] Justin Herbert, how his sort of progression goes along for the Chargers. But I think for Charger fans, I think they are the biggest threat right now to the Chiefs if I had to look forward to the 2020 season. Again, whenever that starts, because the Chargers – at least the last two years – have been the biggest and toughest opponent for the Chiefs in the AFC West. Obviously, they were the last team in the AFC West to defeat the Chiefs back in 2018. But the two games last year were fairly close – obviously, the game in Mexico City – and I think the way the Chargers are building themselves at the moment, I'm really impressed with what they've done so far. And obviously, we know they have a pretty good and talented coach in Anthony Lynn.

"So, for the Chiefs a lot of it is: can they stay healthy; can they be as hungry and have as much of a desire as they had a year ago in trying to achieve being champions; and how much can they defend the AFC West because in order to get that top seed in the AFC playoff standings, you're going to have to be as dominant as they've been in recent memory against AFC West opponents."

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