Ron Glover’s Thursday Night NFL Preview and Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers: Does either team have anything left?
With a loss tonight, one of these men could be out of a job.
The San Diego Chargers have reached a point in their season where the team is either going to rally or pack the season in. Sunday, the Chargers failed miserably against a Cleveland Browns team they should have handled. Instead, Norv Turner’s bunch was embarrassed — turning up the hot seat on the head coach and quarterback Phillip Rivers. The Chargers have lost three consecutive games in the worst fashion and the fans have even begun to bail on this team
Things aren’t going any better for Romeo Crennel’s Chiefs — who are on a historical pace for futility. The Chiefs season has crashed and burned behind injuries, turnovers and overall poor play. Locked in a four-game losing streak and looking for their first lead of the season, the Chiefs need to get up for this one.
The Chargers are used to slow starts, but this season seemed different. The team jumped out to 3-1 and before you knew it, they couldn’t stop anyone. The most telling moment came two weeks ago against the Denver Broncos — when a 24-o lead turned into a 35-24 defeat.
Last week, the Chargers were held to 265 total yards in shocking 7-6 loss to the Browns.
Putting up points isn’t the problem for the Chargers — being outscored is. Luckily, the Chiefs have trouble scoring and stopping teams from doing so.
Matt Cassell will start for the Kansas City after Brady Quinn took a shot to the head last week against the Raiders and is unable to go. Cassell has to avoid turnovers because the Chargers secondary is mindful of his ten interceptions.
The Chiefs have no chance if Jamaal Charles is not involved in the offensive scheme. Charles averaged 110 yards in the first five games, but has only 44 yards on 17 carries in the last two. The Chargers hope to keep Charles on ice with their 9th ranked run defense. Dexter McCluster could be a factor in the Chiefs short passing game. Dwayne Bowe is the man in Cassell’s sights when he looks up field. Bowe is off to another hot start. Bowe leads the team in receptions, reception yardage and scores. The Chargers defense is ranked 22nd — which could lead to a decent air attack for Kansas City.
The Chiefs defense gives up yards in chunks. They are physical and it should help in their approach to Chargers running back Ryan Matthews. The injury-prone Matthews has a tendency to fumble the ball, but the Chiefs are soft against the run. A good start for Matthews could go a long way for the Bolts.
The Chiefs will pressure Rivers — who has been a turnover machine the last two weeks. His primary target is Malcolm Floyd. Floyd’s numbers are similar to Bowe’s. Antonio Gates is still highly effective and remains Rivers’ favorite target.
Prediction: I’m surprised that both meetings between these teams received prime time slots. In rivalries as bitter as this, records usually go out the window. Two men are coaching for their immediate futures, so expect anything.
Chargers 20 – Chiefs 10