These two teams played early in the slate last year as San Diego narrowly escaped defeat at home by beating the Chiefs 20-17. However, after two blowout losses, that game signaled a turnaround for Kansas City and the team was able to finish 7-6 to end the season.
This year started out eerily similar for the Chiefs, but last week’s come-from-behind 27-24 win in overtime against the New Orleans Saints might be the boost this team needs to live up to its preseason expectations.
This game will be strength vs. strength, as the Chiefs enter as the best rushing team in the league at 191.7 yards per game. However, the Chargers are only yielding 67.3 yards on the ground through the season’s first three weeks.
While there will be other factors in helping to decide the outcome of this game, it will ultimately boil down to whether or not San Diego can contain Jamaal Charles, who is coming off a 233-yard performance in last week’s victory.
Here is one bold prediction for each team in Sunday’s matchup:
Philip Rivers Is Sacked 5 Times and Commits 3 Turnovers in Loss
The Chargers offense hasn’t quite clicked all season long, averaging only 318 yards and 21 points per game. However, how the results are attained doesn’t matter since their 2-1 record is good enough for first place in the AFC West right now.
San Diego is coming off a 27-3 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, who also beat the Chiefs 40-24 in the season opener. Philip Rivers looked bad and the running game couldn’t save him.
Whether Rivers misses Vincent Jackson or his window is closing, something just doesn’t look right in San Diego—at least compared to what we have seen in the past.
The Chiefs' defense has only five sacks on the year and has forced just two turnovers, but the Arrowhead crowd will be pumped and should disrupt Rivers as long as the Chiefs are in the game.
Once the quarterback is frustrated, it’s all downhill from there.
Chiefs Score 30 Points for First Time since Week 16 of 2010 Season
The Chiefs rattled of 21 consecutive points in last week’s shocking win on the road in New Orleans. That momentum should carry over into Arrowhead this week as the Chargers come to town for the first of two meetings this year.
Although the Chargers have played the run strongly this season, quarterback Matt Cassel would do well to lean on Charles, who is coming off a monster game last week. This will open up the rest of the offense and allow Cassel to find his spots rather than force things, which has gotten him into trouble in the past.
Kansas City’s defense should be able to feed off the energetic crown and create short fields for the offense to score more efficiently as well.
The Chiefs haven’t scored 30 points in a game since a 34-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans in Week 16 of the 2010 season. Whether Kansas City is playing with the lead most of the afternoon or if this game is a shootout, look for this streak to end on Sunday.