Big stakes and big bucks could be the theme when Patrick Mahomes and the Super Bowl-champion Chiefs face Joey Bosa and the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday afternoon in the Bolts' SoFi Stadium opener.
With Mahomes and Bosa squaring off, it will be a showdown between the NFL's highest-paid offensive and defensive players -- based on per-season average.
The Chiefs QB and the Chargers QB crusher received blockbuster extensions ahead of the 2020 season. Bosa signed a five-year, $135 million extension, putting him at $27 million per season. Mahomes, meanwhile, inked a landmark 10-year, $450 million deal that made him the highest-paid athlete in the universe at $45 million per season.
It will be the fifth time in the last 10 seasons that the highest-paid offensive and defensive players (by APY) will go head-to-head, per NFL Research. Packers-Bears tilts featuring Aaron Rodgers and Khalil Mack were the previous two. Another rich division battle bestows upon us this latest outing.
It's a captivating matchup despite the economics, of course.
As a starter, Mahomes is 12-1 against the AFC West with his only loss coming against the Chargers in 2018, which is the last time Kansas City was bested in a division game. The Chiefs bring a seven-game division winning streak into the game, but Mahomes has struggled (by his lofty standards) against the Bolts more than any other team. In four starts against the Chargers, Mahomes is averaging two touchdowns and 213.75 yards per game. In comparison, he's averaging 2.46 TDs/per game and 300.7 yards for his career.
And Bosa will most certainly be on Mahomes' mind.
The former No. 3 pick graded out with a 91.6, per Pro Football Focus, in the Chargers' season-opening win over the Bengals, with Bosa providing four of the team's 13 quarterback pressures. Bosa racked up a sack, five tackles and three QB hits.
There's a reason Bosa and Mahomes are bringing home the big bucks, and watching the two lead their squads into a Sunday showdown should be a matchup as entertaining as it is lucrative.