When the Kansas City Chiefs face the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2, the Chargers will have a player on defense that Chiefs Kingdom had seen within the division before but was sporting a different jersey: Khalil Mack.
The Chargers conducted a trade with the Chicago Bears this offseason that sent a 2022 second-round pick and 2023 sixth-round pick to the Bears in exchange for Mack. He is now inserted into a Los Angeles defense that also has premier edge rusher Joey Bosa, and the move to acquire Mack paid dividends for the Chargers in Week 1.
In the Chargers’ 24-19 win over the division-rival Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles’ defense recorded 6 total sacks, 3 of which came from Mack, who was drafted by the Raiders 5th overall in 2014.
In Week 2, Mack and the other Chargers pass rushers will be facing a much more stout offensive line for the Chiefs. Yet, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes let it be known that he’s not happy to cross paths with Mack again.
Mahomes ‘Sad’ About Facing Khalil Mack
Speaking to the media on September 13, Mahomes gave an assessment of Los Angeles’ defense, mentioning Mack multiple times throughout his answer.
“But Khalil (Mack) is a great player. I mean obviously, they have (Joey) Bosa already with a lot of other guys that go out there and can rush the passer. They have a good defense everywhere,” Mahomes said.
“They have (Chargers S) Derwin (James Jr.) at safety. I know (Chargers CB) J.C. (Jackson), I don’t know if he’s playing or not, but he’s a great corner and they have other corners that can play as well and linebackers. So, this is a great defense, a great challenge for us early in the season. I’m just sad Khalil came back man. I thought he was out of the AFC West but now he’s back getting sacks again.”
Mahomes Details Prepping for Thursday Night Football
Prepping for Thursday Night Football is not easy for NFL teams, as they naturally have less time to prepare compared to a typical week in which the game is played on Sunday.
Mahomes detailed how he prepares for a Thursday night game and the challenges players face during a short week.
“I think usually I sacrifice the sleep earlier in the week and then as you get closer to the game trying to get back on your sleep schedule and getting your recovery back up there. I mean they’re tough,” Mahomes explained. ”
“They’re always tough because your body’s not necessarily all the way back to where you want it to be, but you have to find ways to battle through it. Early in the season’s kind of good and bad because when you play a division game, we’ve studied the Chargers a lot in the offseason, so you still have that fresh in your mind but it seems like in the hits that you take early in the season you’re a little bit more sore because you’re not used to them again. There’s positives and negatives to it but you try to go in there and play your best football when it comes down to it at the end of the day.”
The Chiefs take on the Chargers in Week 2 on Thursday, September 15 at 8:15 p.m. CST on Prime Video.