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What Derwin James' Return Means to Chargers-Chiefs Rivalry


This summer's "Know Your Rivals" series concluded with The Athletic's Nate Taylor, who joined the latest episode of "Chargers Weekly" to preview the 2021 Kansas City Chiefs.

Download and subscribe to the Chargers Podcast Network wherever you get your podcasts. Full video episodes are available on and the team's official YouTube channel. Among the topics with Taylor:

o Kansas City's efforts to improve the offensive line (2:20)

o The Chiefs' offseason moves on defense (6:48)

o Could Justin Herbert vs. Patrick Mahomes be the next great NFL quarterback rivalry? (12:40)

o Derwin James' return and the landscape of the AFC West (21:40)

Highlights from the conversation are below:

Taylor on James

"I've seen one player on most snaps of a football game since I started covering the Chiefs, which was in 2018. There's been one defender who I've seen cover Travis Kelce effectively snap to snap. That player is Derwin James. I hope he stays healthy. I want to see what he can do particularly after knowing his career arc, what the last two seasons were. I mean, when the Chargers made that great comeback in 2018 on a Thursday night, Derwin James covered the living hell out of Travis Kelce. I mean, in a way that it was really stunning and I haven't seen it since."

On Herbert vs. Mahomes

"This is a time where I feel like OK for the next 10 years, as you mentioned, Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes -- who plays better in these two divisional games each year has the advantage to win the division, has the advantage to have a home playoff game in January, [and] may force the other team to come down for part three. I really feel like what the Chargers are doing is building this thing in a correct manner. Obviously from the offensive and defensive line. You've got the quarterback in place. There's enough veterans and, as you mentioned, skill talent around Justin Herbert. New coaching staff, which means it's going to take, hey, Andy Reid and his staff to understand what the Chargers are going to do for a good portion of this season.

"My initial thought is maybe the Chiefs somehow escape another close Chargers game in Week 3. And then you get to December and maybe Justin Herbert, all those experiences, it really makes for the Chargers winning that game and who knows how the division plays out in the ladder half of December."

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