About 13 weeks ago, on a wet and windy Monday night after 60 minutes of football, the San Diego Chargers opened their 2010 season with a tough nail-biting loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The shocked Chargers squad, 14 points; the victorious Chiefs, 21 points.
In a game where special teams hurt the Chargers, little did they know that the special teams unit would hurt them in five games in their first seven games in the season.
Now in a couple of days, the Chargers will have a shot to redeem themselves against the same team that started the Chargers in their very uncharacteristic season of mediocrity.
I have taken some time to think about this upcoming game against the Chiefs: Thinking about how the Chargers could secure victory against the 8-4 Chiefs.
It dawned on me then what the Chargers should do.
They should do what they should have done against the Raiders and that strategy could be found in the very game plan that I laid out in my Chargers-Raiders game plan article.
That game plan was very simple and it was a strategy that the Colts have mastered for the past decade that made them into one of the most successful franchises in any given period of time.
That game plan that the Chargers should employ is simple: Pass the ball with outstanding ball control and score often and quickly.
Can the Chargers do this against the Chiefs? Hell yeah!
Another team that runs a defensive scheme very similar to that of the Chiefs is the Patriots 3-4 defense. Both teams run a "bend, but don't break" defensive scheme with lots of zone coverage.
The advantage of such a defense is that they prevent the big plays from happening by keeping the opposing offense in front of them.
The advantage is the opposing offense must have to play perfect in order to drive the ball down the field. Not only that, but such a defense is very strong in the red zone due to it's emphasis on zone and zone in tight spaces works towards the defense's advantage.
The disadvantage is that usually such a defense is fairly easy to move on if you have a elite QB and that's something the Chargers have. Even if the Chargers don't score, they'll be in FG range a lot, so having a kicker like Nate Kaeding will be a huge factor in scoring points against the Chiefs.
It should also be noted that Philip Rivers passed for 336 yards, one TD and one INT against the Patriots defense. Rivers passed for 298 yards, two TDs and no INTs against the Chiefs.
Rivers should have no problem passing the ball against the Chiefs defense.
The thinking behind this strategy which the Colts employ is to score quickly and decisively in order to force the opposing offense into a predictable situation. For the defense, it means taking away a opposing offenses' ability to be unpredictable.
This is why the Colts beat teams that have strong rushing attacks, even though they have a weak run defense.
The difference here with the Chargers is that they have a pretty decent run defense and have a very elite pass defense—this is why the Chargers have to pass the ball and do it early and often.
All the Chargers need is one or two breaks from the defense to force the opposing team to punt or force a turnover and it could be a early game for the Chargers into the winner's circle.
This is the key for the Chargers to beat the Chiefs—do what they do best and that's putting the ball in the hands of Philip Rivers.
Throw the ball effectively, score often, and force the run oriented Chiefs to pass and see how good Matt Cassel really is when they are predictable.
If there is one thing the Chargers have that the Colts don't have that should work to the Chargers favor when holding a lead is having a power-running game to finish the game quickly to prevent comebacks.