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NFL Kansas City ChiefsSan Diego Chargers

Kansas City Chiefs Lack Motivation Against Chargers Who Have Nothing to Lose

Eric Berry, Philip Rivers

Denny Medley – USA TODAY Sports

The 11-4 Kansas City Chiefs go on the road to face AFC West rivals the 8-7 San Diego Chargers Sunday for the last week of the current NFL regular season. There is virtually nothing riding on this game’s outcome for the Chiefs, but they have a chance to build momentum as they head into the playoffs after securing an AFC Wild Card spot for themselves in Week 15. San Diego has won 10 of the last 12 games against Kansas City, including a 41-38 Week 12 win for the Chargers in Kansas City, and they are favored by 10 points against the Chiefs.

The Chargers are still hoping to make the playoffs this year going into Week 17 while the Chiefs, who are locked into the No. 5 seed, seem to have little motivation to shine on Sunday. Kansas City has not performed remarkably so far this season in divisional games and currently sits with a 2-3 divisional record. The Chiefs have also lost four of their last six games.

Though the Chiefs seem to have little to gain from this game on Sunday, they will not want to set a bad precedent going into the playoffs. They can afford to and probably will rest many of their starters like running back Jamaal Charles, linebacker Tamba Hali and quarterback Alex Smith. Kansas City is currently scoring an average of 27.1 PPG while only allowing 18.5 PPG. They have been formidable on the road this season and will at least keep things interesting in San Diego.

The Chargers need to not only beat the Chiefs to make the playoffs, but they also need the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens to lose Sunday. They are on a three-game winning streak and are ranked sixth in the league in overall offense.

Kickoff on Sunday is at 3:25 p.m. CST, and we will know at that moment whether or not a San Diego defeat of the Chiefs matters in terms of Chargers’ playoff aspirations.

Jonathan W. Crowell is a writer and an online sports blogger for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @JW_Crowell, “like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.