As Week 7 in the NFL kicked off last night with the Patriots last second win over the Jets in Thursday Night Football, it is time to take a look at the Kansas City Chiefs and where they stand heading into their matchup with the Chargers this Sunday in San Diego.
With a record of 2-3, the Chiefs are third in the AFC West, behind Denver and San Diego, who both only have one loss. They rank #11 in the AFC in the playoff standings, behind teams such as Buffalo and Cleveland and they seem to be on the outside looking in for the postseason. Granted, there is a lot of football left to play and the Chiefs would do well to steal a win in Southern California this weekend. The Chiefs have lost their past 6 games in San Diego, and 11 of the past 14 games against them overall.
Head Coach Andy Reid’s post-bye week record (13-2) is famous, despite losing after the BYE last season in his first year with the Chiefs. Following his familiar formula, he allowed the Chiefs’ players and staff members to go about their own business during their time off last week, and hopefully players will be rested and healthy on Sunday. In particular, the Chiefs could use Eric Berry in the secondary, especially as Chris Owens may miss time due to a knee injury. Berry has not played since week 2, but his presence may be needed since Chargers’ QB Phillip Rivers is having an excellent year. Rivers is on pace for career highs in completion percent, yards per game, touchdown passes and QB rating. Not a good time to have a weak secondary right now…
Looking ahead on the schedule, the Chiefs play the Rams the following week, and the Chargers take on the Broncos. The Chargers may be tempted to look past KC, and if they do, the Chiefs need to take advantage and punish them. With Donnie Avery out again, the Chiefs will need Travis Kelce to continue his torrid pace (20 catches for 274 yards and 3 TD’s so far), and they will need Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis to get the ball more. The Chargers have the 9th best run defense in the NFL, allowing 99.0 yards per game, although they do allow a sizable 4.7 yards per rushing attempt; however, the Chiefs average 137.6 rush yards per game which is 4th best in the league and we all know that Jamaal Charles has the highest rushing yards per attempt average in NFL history for a running back, which currently stands at 5.5 yards per attempt. Reid needs to call his number a lot versus San Diego.
Former Chief Brandon Flowers did not practice Wednesday and is listed as questionable on ESPN.com. He leads the Chargers with 2 interceptions. While he may not play Sunday, this game marks a(nother) homecoming for QB Alex Smith, who is a San Diego native. Since Smith failed to come up with a win against San Francisco last week (and has failed in all 4 fourth quarter comeback tries he has had with the Chiefs), I am hoping that he has more success going forward, starting with a win this Sunday.
I predict KC wins 30-27. Go Chiefs!