Rejoice: Thursday night games end with a special matchup

FILE – In this Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, left, greets Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers after a win in an NFL football game in Carson, Calif. The Kansas City Chiefs are missing their star running back, likely without his backup and could have their top two wide receivers hobbled or shelved for their crucial AFC West showdown against the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday, Dec. 13. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo, File)

By BARRY WILNER

For those fans who dislike Thursday night football, rejoice that this week is the final game of the season on such short rest.

Also rejoice that it’s one of the best matchups of the year, with hefty implications in the standings, as Kansas City hosts the Los Angeles Chargers.

Even with a loss, the Chiefs keep the top spot in the AFC West with a better division record as the teams will have split their series. A win for Kansas City (11-2) could secure the top seed in the conference, though, depending on what happens to the Patriots and Texans.

The Chargers (10-3), who lost to KC 38-28 in the season opener, will own a postseason berth with a victory. They also can get in with a loss and help elsewhere, but those scenarios give Pro Picks a migraine.

Los Angeles, ranked fourth in the AP Pro32, is a 3½-point underdog at top-ranked Kansas City. We think, right now, the Chargers are the better-balanced team, though winning on the road on Thursday nights is very difficult, especially if the top two running backs are out. That could be the case with Melvin Gordon (knee) and Austin Ekeler (neck, concussion protocol) uncertain.

Bye-bye Thursday nights.

CHIEFS, 30-29

 

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