Chargers' Keenan Allen on Chiefs' new-look roster: 'We just looked at their DB group and I'll just leave it at that'

It kinda flies under the radar for a number of reasons, but the Chargers actually finished last season with same record as the Chiefs and if not for a tiebreaker, would've finished with the AFC West crown and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Yet the Chargers haven't generated nearly as much Super Bowl hype as the Chiefs heading into the 2019 season. A significant reason for that is the fact that the Chiefs have the best quarterback in football in Patrick Mahomes, but Keenan Allen is here to remind everyone that the Chiefs do have weaknesses, one of which he can exploit.  

On Monday, when the Chargers' receiver was asked about the Chiefs' new-look roster after free agency and the draft saw them overhaul their defense, Allen took a moment to take a not-so-subtle dig at the Chiefs' defensive backs. 

Allen's not entirely wrong. As it stands, the Chiefs' secondary is lacking capable cover guys. Even though the Chiefs managed to add safety Tyrann Mathieu in free agency, Mathieu alone won't fix a group that allowed the second-most passing yards in football a season ago. Of course, a significant reason why the Chiefs gave up so many passing yards in 2018 was because they were almost always playing with the lead as Mahomes led scoring drive after scoring drive, and when teams are playing with the lead, they're bound to give up more passing yards as their opposition tries to keep up. By DVOA, the Chiefs ranked 12th against the pass and by yards allowed per attempt, they ranked 16th. If anything, it's their run defense that is the bigger concern.

Still, the Chiefs' passing defense has its holes. Bashaud Breeland was a nice value signing, but he's far from any team's idea of a shutdown CB1. Kendall Fuller has previously demonstrated the ability be a quality slot corner, but didn't fare as well in 2018, his first season in Kansas City. Beyond that, the rest of the defensive backs group is mostly unproven. Most of the Chiefs' focus on defense this offseason has been swapping out personnel up front, as they've exchanged edge rushers Dee Ford and Justin Houston for Frank Clark and Alex Okafor/Emmanuel Ogbah. 

If you were to actually compare the Chiefs and Chargers' rosters side by side, you'd probably come to the conclusion that it's the Chargers who have the better overall roster. They're the more complete team -- especially when you factor in Tyreek Hill's uncertain future. The problem for the Chargers is that the Chiefs have Mahomes, who is more than capable of overcoming that bad defense. And if the change in defensive coordinators and additions of Mathieu and Clark can help the Chiefs' defense make the leap from bad to average, that could be enough to get the Chiefs over the hump and into the Super Bowl a year after falling painfully short.

But again, Allen's not really wrong. He's likely looking forward to facing the Chiefs, because he knows there are yards to be gained. Allen barely played in their second meeting a year ago due to a hip injury, but in their first meeting he racked up eight receptions, 108 yards, and a touchdown. The teams split the season series with each team winning the road fixture.

Heading into the 2019 season, the AFC West appears to be the most top-heavy division in football. Both the Chargers and Chiefs should be rightfully considered Super Bowl contenders. And their postseason fates might just be determined by their head-to-head meetings considering how valuable home-field advantage is in the AFC, where a trip to Foxborough looms.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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