The KC Chiefs lost to the Chargers in Week 17. What did we learn?
This game might not have meant anything, but it was still a Kansas City Chiefs football game, therefore we’re still going to cover it and discuss what we learned from the matchup. The Chiefs already had the No. 1 seed locked up, so they entered this game with Chad Henne starting at quarterback and most of their stars hanging out on the sideline not even dressed for the game.
The 38-21 final means that KC finishes the season at 14-2, but the loss doesn’t sting as most losses would. Most fans expected a loss to occur because the stars weren’t playing and that’s exactly what transpired.
The Chargers wanted to put on a clinic against KC and they did just that. The difference is that one organization is cleaning out their lockers on Monday while the other is getting amped to play in the AFC Divisional Round.
With all of that said, let’s take a look at what we learned about the Chiefs in this loss.
What we learned about KC Chiefs – Backups were hit and miss
Some backups really came to play and prove that they belonged on this roster in 2021 and beyond. Others, however, made the decision to move on from them a lot easier.
The good players were Byron Pringle and Darwin Thompson while the bad ones were Armani Watts, Juan Thornhill, Antonio Hamilton, and honestly just about anyone from the secondary sans Deandre Baker (who was injured during the game). This gives the Chiefs an idea about who to keep around this offseason and who to cut ties with, which is an opportunity they didn’t have this past summer due to no preseason games taking place.
What we learned about KC Chiefs – Injuries continue to be a problem
The reason it’s smart to rest starters if nothing major is riding on the outcome of a Week 17 game is to avoid injuries. Even with the team resting a lot of their main starters, the Chiefs still saw injuries occur to both Willie Gay and Deandre Baker with Baker’s looking pretty serious.
The Chiefs have had a ton of injuries occur at the linebacker position and we were finally starting to see Gay getting some playing time as a result. Now, with this injury, who knows if the second-round pick will be available to return to help out in the playoffs.
Baker’s injury was really bad and it’s even more unfortunate when considering that the Chiefs were hoping to see what he could do in 2021. Hopefully, he can recover and contribute to this team whenever he’s healthy and ready to go.
What we learned about KC Chiefs – AFC West could be more difficult next year
This isn’t saying much, as the AFC West was total garbage this year. The Chiefs were the only team in the division to finish the season with a winning record, but that might not be the case next year. KC’s two losses this year came to AFC West teams and this division is going to continue to build their team so that they can compete with the champs for the AFC West title.
The Chargers clearly have something with Justin Herbert at quarterback and if they land Eric Bieniemy as their next head coach, that team could definitely make huge strides next year. They might not be good enough to take the division from Kansas City, but they’ll definitely make things a little more interesting.
The AFC West should be more competitive next year though and that’ll make the regular-season more fun for sure.
What did you learn in the regular-season finale?