After pulling out an improbable overtime win over the New Orleans Saints in a game with numerous officiating blunders, the Kansas City Chiefs regained a bit of ground in the newest Rant Sports power rankings, moving from 28th to 23rd. For a team that came into the season expecting to compete for the AFC West title, this is a good sign, but Romeo Crennel‘s squad still has a lot of improvement to make in this wide open division.
The 2-1 San Diego Chargers, at 12th, are still the highest ranked team in the west, but they got trounced by the Atlanta Falcons last week. The Denver Broncos (1-2) have lost two games in a row and have fallen to 18th, while the Oakland Raiders (1-2) notched their first win last weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Things begin to get interesting this weekend, as the Chiefs and the Chargers square off in Kansas City, and the Broncos and Raiders play at Sports Authority Field in Denver. If the Chiefs and the Broncos can win, we’ll have a three way tie atop the division headed into week 5. In typical AFC West fashion, we can expect the division title to go right down to the wire.
In order to win this weekend, the Kansas City secondary must shut down Phillip Rivers and the San Diego passing attack and force the running tandem of Ronnie Brown and the banged up Ryan Mathews to beat them. Stanford Routt had a late game interception on Drew Brees last week, and he and Brandon Flowers will need to have big games on Sunday. On offense, it’s quite simple: give the ball to Jamaal Charles. If he’s effective and limits the amount of 3rd and longs for erratic quarterback Matt Cassel, the Chiefs will win on Sunday. My prediction: Chiefs 30, Chargers 21.