Going into the start of the season, many people would be happy to see the Los Angeles Chargers with a 6-5 record and in contention for a playoff spot going into December. Wins in four of the first five games, including three against teams that made the postseason in 2020, ramped up expectations for first-year coach Brandon Staley. The loss to Denver was Los Angeles' fourth in the past six games and laid bare many of its weaknesses seen throughout the season — a leaky run defense (147 yards allowed and 4.5 yards per carry); too many third-down conversions allowed (8 of 11); and an offensive line missing three starters unable to consistently protect quarterback Justin Herbert.
Vic Fangio didn't pay much attention when the Kansas City Chiefs stumbled to a 3-4 start. The same juggernaut that's won the AFC West every year since 2016 while piling up a cumulative 73-28 record while the Broncos had stumbled to a 38-53 mark since winning Super Bowl 50. The Chiefs (7-4), fresh off a bye, opened as 9½-point favorites, according to FanDuel SportsBook.