The Chargers control their own destiny. If they win, they move on to the playoffs. If they lose, they go home. The only thing standing in their way is the Kansas City Cheifs in Arrowhead Stadium.
The Chargers got outplayed when the Chiefs came to San Diego earlier in the season. They were not able to execute in the red zone and settled for field goals. This allowed the Chiefs to control the clock and execute with touchdowns. Yet this Chargers team has evolved.
The Chargers offense found their groove last week in their comeback vs. San Francisco. Branden Oliver was running well, the line was blocking perfectly, and the passing offense was on point. The same should be expected this week.
Branden Oliver will get the workload this week. To succeed, he has to get 85 yards minimum. It does not matter if he gets in the end zone, his only goal should be to give Phillip Rivers some help.
The offense will move through Phillip Rivers throwing to Antonio Gates, Eddie Royal, Malcolm Floyd, and Dontrelle Inamn. All 4 players had their moments last week and expect them to continue. I expect Rivers to throw for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns. Gates, Royal, and Floyd will all get touchdowns in this game.
The line has to stop Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. Both players got a sack on Rivers in the previous game and they want to will this defense to win. The team only allowed 1 sack in their comeback so if they could limit the hits on Rivers then they can succeed.
Alex Smith will miss this game with a lacerated spleen. Chase Daniels will start at quarterback and the Chargers pass rush should be excited. Corey Liuget, Melvin Ingram, and Dwight Freeney will all get their chances at smashing the young quarterback.
The Chargers pass defense also has an important catalyst in former Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers. He went out with a concussion last game but you cannot expect that here. Flowers wants the city to know what they are missing and to lead his team to the playoffs while the Chiefs miss is a big deal.
I expect this game to be 27-13 going the Chargers way. I think Chase Daniels and Jamaal Charles will do what they can for Kansas City but Phillip Rivers and the Chargers will start to gain momentum going into the playoffs. With a playoff patch of Colts, Broncos, and Patriots approaching, momentum is the most important factor. The Chargers vs. Chiefs will start at 10 a.m. Pacific on CBS.