The summer walk-through of the Kansas City Chiefs’ NFL schedule continues today with a look at a Week 4 game against the San Diego Chargers that will be at home. There’s a decent chance the Chargers will come into this game at 3-0—if you believe they can get past the Oakland Raiders on the opening Monday Night game of the season, the Bolts then play twice at home against Tennessee and Atlanta.
Of course knowing San Diego’s track record under general manager A.J. Smith and head coach Norv Turner, they’re just as likely to lose the opener and then find a way to drop at least one of the home games, probably on a game where they allow 225 yards of return yardage and waste a 350-yard game by quarterback Philip Rivers. You never quite know what you’re going to get with the Chargers, but if you’re an opposing coaching staff you know they need to be respected.
It’s going to be imperative that Kansas City run the ball well between the tackles here and that Jamaal Charles show an ability to make some big plays off cutbacks. If he does that, it gives San Diego something to think about when deciding how aggressive to be with outside linebacker Shaun Phillips, and perhaps rookie Melvin Ingram, who plays the same position. If they get comfortable teeing off on the quarterback, it’s going to be long day for Kansas City’s Matt Cassell.
San Diego has to similarly account for Kansas City outside linebacker Tamba Hali, and if their own shifty back, Ryan Mathews, can keep the Chiefs off-balance it can open some things up. The situation is a little different on this side of the ball though—Kansas City might decide to live with a good game from Mathews in exchange for constant pressure on Rivers, and I think that would be a wise choice. If San Diego counters by using too much of the running game, they might win a battle but lose the war, in terms of going away from what they do best.
One thing you can be sure of—if Kansas City is going to compete for the AFC West title they need to be thinking about sweeping their three divisional home games and that starts on September 30 against San Diego.
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