Chiefs Charge In To San Diego

Image courtesy of mvn.com
Philip Rivers and Ryan Mathews will look to spark the Chargers' offence against KC. Image courtesy of mvn.com
There are some bad teams in the NFL this season, but perhaps none more hapless than the Kansas City Chiefs . They have the second-worst points differential in the NFL, and the team below them on for and against – Tennessee – has at least managed to win three of its eight games. The woeful Chiefs have managed just a solitary victory, and that was a three-point triumph of sorts over the then winless Saints in Week 3. On Friday morning (AEST) they face a tough trip to San Diego for a date with the Chargers.

Matt Cassel lost his starting job a fortnight back, but his replacement Brady Quinn struggled big time before suffering a likely concussion in the first quarter of last weekend’s loss to the Raiders. Cassel hadn’t exactly ignited the Chiefs’ offence in the first five games of the season, but he was decidedly better than Quinn who completed just 59 per cent of his passes for 218 yards, was picked off on three occasions, and failed to throw a touchdown.

The one bright spot in an abysmal season has been the performance of running back Jamaal Charles . The Chiefs average 155 yards rushing per game, compared to San Diego’s gains of 103 per match. Charles started the season well with two performances where he ran for 140+ yards, and he is still averaging five yards per carry. He has been down the past fortnight, though, culminating in last week’s effort where he managed just four yards from five runs.

The Chargers weren’t any better last week in a soggy 7-6 loss to the Browns. QB Philip Rivers has been off his game the past few weeks, and against Cleveland he mustered only 154 passing yards without a touchdown. The ground game has been ok, as Ryan Matthews has been a solid contributor throughout the season. He has managed just one TD this season, but that could change against a Chiefs team which is ranked 22nd in the NFL against the run.

Regardless of San Diego’s recent performances, the Chiefs have been poor on their visits to Qualcomm Stadium of late. Over their last three starts, they’ve been outscored by the Chargers 94-31 for an average  margin of 21 points . The Chargers are 1-2 at home, with those losses coming against AFC West rival and division leader Denver, and the unbeaten Atlanta Falcons. 

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