Can San Diego Get Back on Track in Kansas City?


The Chargers are looking to wipe out the bad memory of last week’s game against the Atlanta Falcons and get a big win on the road in Kansas City. San Diego and Kansas City have traded wins over the past few seasons, with the home team winning the all of those times.

Kansas City is coming off their first win of the season after a thrilling comeback against the New Orleans Saints. Jamaal Charles had a huge game last week and if fully healthy, he poses a difficult matchup for the  San Diego defense. Division games in the AFC West are going to be extremely important in determining the AFC West winner. There is not a lot separating the Broncos, Chiefs and Chargers in this division, so division record may just determine the winner at the end of the year.

Keys to the Game: The Chargers cannot afford to turnover the ball four times again, especially in the Red Zone. Ryan Matthews was warned during the week by general manager A.J. Smith, about his fumbling problems. Along with Matthews, Rivers needs to keep possession of the ball as well. Rivers is too good to cost his team with silly interceptions.

The defense must get off the field on third downs. Last week the Atlanta Falcons killed the Chargers defense on third downs, converting on eight of their 13 attempts. Matt Ryan is a much better quarterback than Matt Cassel, but he can still hurt you. Cassel is prone to a bad turnover, so the defense must remain patient and play within their responsibilities.

Injuries: San Diego’s secondary is really banged up. They will only have three cornerbacks available to play, with Shareece Wright out again. Because of this Eric Weddle will play a lot of snaps as a slot corner. Left tackle Jared Gaither is actually listed as questionable, but we all know the real odds of him playing are less than 50%. Nate Kaeding will also not be traveling to Kansas City, who for a kicker is hurt way too much, promoting Nick Novak into the starting role.

Kansas City is also full of injuries. Three of their wide receivers, Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston and Dexter McCluster are all listed as questionable. Tight end Kevin Boss has been ruled out, another injury prone player. And Peyton Hillis is doubtful, which is what he has been since he got on the cover of Madden for whatever reason.

Final Analysis: This series has been controlled by the home teams over the last few seasons and the considering what the Chargers put on display last week it may continue in that direction. The Chargers will need to control the Chiefs ground game led by Charles, and prevent Matt Cassel from getting into any kind of rhythm. San Diego 23 Kansas City 20.

 

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