For the third-straight year, the Los Angeles Chargers will open the season against a divisional opponent.
For the second time in those three years, they'll face the Kansas City Chiefs.
However, it's a different Chargers team than they've faced in recent years. Ahead of the Week 1 match, Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid said he's very impressed by what the Chargers accomplished over the offseason.
"The Chargers did a heck of a job this offseason, and they've got a good football team," he said. "So we've got to make sure we get ourselves ready to go…. I thought they had a tremendous draft. It looks like those kids are playing well for them right now. It looks like they added speed."
Another addition Reid's impressed by is the Chargers' new center, Mike Pouncey, who he believes is a major upgrade to the Bolts' offensive line.
"I sure liked him coming out," he said. "I have a lot of respect for him in his game. He's a real good athlete, he's a good leader, and that's one of the nice additions for them. He'll help them."
At the same time, Reid is also wary of old stalwarts like Philip Rivers.
"There's something with the water down there because Philip Rivers keeps getting better," he said. "I thought he had a real good training camp there with those preseason games."
Along with Rivers, one of those weapons back in the fold this season is Antonio Gates. The future Hall of Famer signed a one-year contract with the Chargers on Monday. Although he missed the offseason program and training camp, Reid is expecting the same number 85, the one who has given the Chiefs fits throughout the years, out there on Sunday.
"He's a Hall of Fame player, so he knows how to take care of himself and do all that stuff," Reid said. "So that's how we're preparing for him. We know all that doesn't really matter (signing earlier this week). Heck, I brought a guy back after two years to play in the Super Bowl. This guy just got done playing. He'll be ready to go, and we're preparing to play against Antonio Gates – the Antonio Gates. No different."
Meanwhile, Patrick Mahomes faces a stacked Chargers defense. He said the entire unit is full of "talent," calling the opportunity to go up against them "a nice test coming out of the gate for Week 1."
One dynamic duo waiting for him will be Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa as the pair combined for 23 sacks in 2017. Although this will be his second career start, Mahomes is hoping the veteran experience on the offensive line will be able to help contain the Ingram-Bosa tandem. However, he's well aware it won't be easy.
"They're two top of the league pass rushers that I know will really try to get after the quarterback and really get in the run game as well," Mahomes admitted. "For me, we have a veteran offensive line that has gotten to play against them, so hopefully they can help neutralize them. But, at the same time, it's going to be a tough task for those guys."