Obviously, there is a lot more at stake Thursday night. But the main goal needs to be getting into the playoffs. I think we need to prove we can beat KC the same way we needed to prove we could beat the Steelers. It would be awesome to win the AFC West and get a decent seed in the postseason. But this team needs to win at least one more game. I don’t want to hear about how they can still get in at 10 wins. The Chargers usually get what they deserve and I just assume they will find a way not to get in if they drop this game. I’m sure I’ll believe they won’t win again if that happens.
Realistically, I think they’ve set themselves well. Sunday was looking like a disaster when Cincy lined up for a two-point conversion. But to their credit, the defense held as it did in London. It would have been great to put away the Bengals’ backup QB earlier but we’ll take it. The sequence before the half was great to see as Marvin Lewis’ team unraveled to give Badgley the shot. Of course, I thought of Kaeding’s 52-yarder in December 2009 ended meaning shit for Tweety and the Chargers. But Badgley also hit the one that gave us the 5-point lead we needed to win. Given where we were with Sturgis this year, I’ll take it.
Donnie Jones’ punting really scares me. It was only a matter of time before he gave the opposition prime field position they could take advantage of and it happened Sunday. Can you imagine what Mahomes will do in that spot? I am using all these Lynn photos because I have to give him credit for the way this team has responded. They might lose Thursday, but all I can hope is that they don’t wilt like last year. Of course, if you search for Lynn on Google, the words “Melvin Gordon” automatically pop up. I do think Gordon will play in Kansas City, but actually believe we can win with Jackson and Newsome. Ekler’s “stingers” might explain why he looked so slow the last few weeks or maybe that was just getting hit on every play. Or maybe he was running slow from the stingers and that caused him to get destroyed on seemingly each snap. Anyway, if he’s gotta rest so be it.
I read on Twitter that KC’s rush defense seemed vulnerable on Sunday. I’ll admit that I haven’t watched much of their games this year. I know how good they’ve looked and haven’t felt it was worth it to root against them. When the Ravens were leading, I assumed that if they held on they would be impossible to beat next week. I know I should have hoped for KC to lose but I guess I’m too used to worrying about the worst. Shit, I’m still not over Tamrick Vanover running back that kick on Monday Night in 1995 or Lew Bush dropping a pick in the same game. But as unstoppable as KC has looked, the time seems right to try to stop them.
There is no question that Brandon Mebane will be missed and that Addae is an awful liability back there. But the defense deserves credit for making the plays that counted many times this year. If Keenan Allen gets the benefit of what clearly should have been a pass interference maybe they wouldn’t have had to. I’m not sure about the call on Hayward, but he’s come back to earth this season. It was last year in KC that he tried to go with the sore hamstring and got burned by Hill. I’m sure Hill will go Thursday, bad foot and all.
Thursday night will undoubtedly come down to Rivers. There were some great throws against Cincy. That Mike Williams catch was huge. He’s had a bunch of passes batted down in the last few games and we’re lucky none were picked. KC has brought out the worst in him, even without Marcus Peters. The defense needs to keep the game within reach so Phil doesn’t have try to win it all himself. Sam Tevi has looked less than stellar the last few weeks. Now that Barksdale is gone, I don’t know what Forrest Lamp has to do to get some snaps. It’s almost as mystifying as Trevor Williams. The injury that no one has explained keeps popping up each week. I guess Michael Davis looked better than in the first half at Pitt. Along with Phil, Bosa and Ingram need to step up. Last year we got nothing in the biggest game of the year. That can’t happen again.
I do really believe this team can win. They will need to play better than they have, but I don’t think they will melt down. Playing without a real homefield seems to have toughened them up.
Anyway, I’ll talk to you Thursday. It’s time for these guys to really fuck shit up.