If the Chargers were going to take a week off and get lax in their preparation, this would be the week. After four playoff like victories in a row, with another huge match-up against the Dallas Cowboys next week, the Chiefs at home, who they already smacked down in Kansas City, might seem like easy pickings.
The Chiefs are re-energized with the addition of Chris Chambers and the subtraction of Larry Johnson. Current starting running back, Jamaal Charles is very fast and agile, averaging over five yards per carry.
If the Chargers don't come out fast, aggressive and creative (this one is on the coaches), and just go through the motions, they might put themselves at more risk than they need to. Because the Broncos, to my surprise, did not fall apart this Thursday, as they went out and beat the Giants, San Diego must keep winning to stay on top of the division (The Giants look like a tired team on the way out).
San Diego also has a huge wild card to deal with in the injury of the least talented starter on the team, right tackle Jeromey Clary. Clary has improved somewhat throughout the season though, while Brandon Dombrowski has never started at this position. Rivers will be at risk this week and next, probably limiting the Chargers' options on offense. Rivers will most likely have to keep the passes quick and short to protect him from the defensive rush.
On another note, if veteran free agent acquisition John Runyan turns out to be healthy and in good enough shape to play at the high level he has in the past, he could be the difference maker of the season. With a solid right tackle who can pass and run block effectively (unlike Clary) the Chargers are much more dangerous going into the playoffs. With Brandon Dombrowski starting? The better teams will exploit this glaring weakness, handcuffing the Chargers' explosive offense.
Today? I'm betting on the veteran leadership on this team to help the Chargers stay focused on doing things right and winning.
San Diego 31, Kansas City 20