The 11-4 Kansas City Chiefs will go on the road for their Week 17 and final regular season game when they face AFC West division rivals the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. The outcome of the game won’t mean much to the Chiefs one way or another, as they are already locked in as the fifth AFC seed following their embarrassing 23-7 loss this past Sunday to the Indianapolis Colts.
One thing this might mean? Chiefs head coach Andy Reid may rest his starters Sunday, citing success with this move in the past, in order to save them for the postseason. In 2004, when he was head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, he rested the starters for the last two weeks of the regular season, and his team ended up going to the Super Bowl that year.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith doesn’t want to rest, but would rather go full throttle against the Chargers in order to move on from Sunday’s loss to Indy.
The Chiefs certainly have less to lose from this upcoming game than the Chargers. If the Baltimore Ravens or Miami Dolphins win their games, then San Diego will no longer be in the running for the playoffs. The only way the Chargers can have a chance at the playoffs this year is if they beat or tie Kansas City, and if both Baltimore and Miami lose.
As for the Chiefs, they can afford to rest up their starters for the playoffs. Regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s game against the Chargers, Kansas City will go on the road on January 4 or 5 to face either the Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots or AFC South champions, the Colts.