Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chiefs Need a Loss; Chargers Need a Win

As I said in my last post, the more interesting game for Charger fans today should be Tennessee vs. Kansas City. The Chargers are playing well, have had some extra rest, and should get a win against an inferior Bengals team that may be playing for a first-round draft pick more than anything else.

Cincinnati did win last wee though, and looking at their stats, they fall in the middle of the pack in both offensive and defensive categories. They, like the Chargers have had a lot of adversity this season and have found ways to lose with ill timed turnovers and special teams issues. They had a strong performance in beating the Browns last week. If San Diego isn't on, or has a Christmas hangover (they were flying out yesterday afternoon instead of Friday as they usually do so players could have time with families), or don't handle the cold, or overlook these guys in any way, the Bengals could rise up and beat them, virtually ending the season for the Chargers.

With T.O. out and Ochocinco hurting, San Diego should be able to cover their receivers one-on -one and stack the box against bruising running back Cedric Benson, forcing Carson Palmer into third and long situations in which he's given up the ball almost more than any other starting quarterback this season (18 INT's). The Chargers should be able to pressure him enough to get him fantasizing about returning to his offseason home on the beaches of Del Mar and getting out of the frozen nightmare of Cincinnati.

It will be a testament to Norv and the maturity and leadership on this team if San Diego puts in another strong performance today. If they don't? We can speculate about the holes on this team, in personnel, leadership, and coaching that led to the downfall of this season.

In the game that seems even more up in the air in Kansas City, the Titans are holding out on slim playoff hopes in their division. At 6-8 they would need both the Colts and Jaguars to lose out and win out themselves to have a chance. Tennessee is near the bottom of the league in both offensive and defensive categories, suggesting they may be worse than their mediocre record implies.

However, they are coming off of a strong performance last week and one could argue (hope?) that quarterback Kerry Collins is shaking off the rust after Vince Young started most of the season. If nothing else, the Titans are a tough team that gets a lot of sacks and prides itself on stopping the run. This could be the perfect combination for stopping the Chiefs. Chris Johnson, though not having a superhuman season like he has the last couple years, is still a great back and also had a strong game last week. If the Titans come to play, they should be right in this down to the end. The Chiefs just aren't that good.

Chargers 27, Bengals 13

Titans 17, Chiefs 13

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