Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs passes against the Oakland Raiders. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
As most of you know, SB Nation is lucky enough to have the world's best Kansas City Chiefs community as part of its network in Arrowhead Pride. Joel Thorman, who share most of the managerial duties over there with his brother Chris, agreed this week to answer five of my questions about the red-hot Chiefs heading into Monday night's game.
In return, I answered five of his questions about the Chargers that will be posted up on Arrowhead Pride sometime in the next few days. On to Joel's answers...
How do you explain the Chiefs winning three games in a row? What changed with the team after losing to the Chargers?
First, they stopped turning it over so much. That was clearly the biggest problem as they lead the league in turnovers after the first two weeks. Second, I think it's getting used to playing without Eric Berry and Jamaal Charles, two incredibly important players that were lost in the first two weeks of the season. The Chiefs definitely played like a different team from the second half of the Chargers game on.
Have the Cornerbacks gone back to being a strength of the Chiefs defense after being a weakness for the first few weeks?
Yeah, they're getting there. Brandon Carr really has been the best cornerback on the team this season, overall. Recently, though, Brandon Flowers has had some success. They're a good duo and I think their early season struggles are due more to the play of the defense as a whole, and less about an individual effort.
How would you rate the Chiefs running game with Jackie Battle as the starter?
Average, I think, and that's a step up when you lose Jamaal Charles. Battle has been a very, very interesting player the last few weeks for the Chiefs. We joke he's been a preseason star for a few years because he was always the guy that received the lion's share of the preseason carries (which means you're probably not a starter). He's a big dude at 230-plus pounds and always seems to fall forward for positive yardage. He's a load, for sure.
Fill in the blank: If the Chiefs do (blank) they'll beat the Chargers.
Don't turn the ball over. Really, I think that's what it comes down to (just like San Diego). With the homefield advantage, I think the Chiefs can keep this game close as long as they don't make silly mistakes. As we learned last year at Arrowhead, turnovers can energize the crowd and give KC plenty of momentum to keep it competitive.
What's your prediction for the rest of Kansas City's season? Do you think they could challenge for the AFC West Championship once again?
Yeah, I think they can challenge for the AFC West crown. They have a solid team that, as long as they don't turn the ball over, will keep most games close. Will they actually do that though? That's a different story. We've seen basically two Chiefs teams so far -- the team that was roasted 89-10 in the first two games and the team that played the Chargers tight and then won three straight. So I can't really say for sure I know which Chiefs are for real.