The Chiefs are at 1-7 for a reason, they are in the midst of rebuilding. They were largely regarded as having conducted a great draft; but they are clearly struggling through the season with a running back that is a distraction with his off field antics and their Pro Bowl tight end asking to be traded. That said, they made a good showing against a good Tampa Bay defense last week. T. Thigpen had a good week with an 89.4 QB rating and 164 yards through the air. Jamaal Charles, someone I hoped the Chargers would target in the draft, ended up running for over 100 yards.
Kansas City really needs to run well to win a game; but they are going to be without Larry Johnson, who will be on suspension for spitting his drink in a woman's face. This means the Chargers are going to need to stop Jamaal Charles who is a real speedster. The other two key weapons in Kansas City's attack are Tony Gonzalez and Dwayne Bowe. Tight ends have been eating the Chargers alive all season and Tony Gonzalez is one of the very best. The Chargers need to really chip him hard at the line and provide close coverage when he goes out in passing routes. Against Tampa Bay Gonzalez caught 8 passes for 65 yards. The other aerial threat is Dwayne Bowe who absolutely lit the Chargers up last year, he had over 160 yards in the game at the Murph. Hopefully Jammer will be able to shut him down this year; especially with KC having a very inexperienced QB.
Tyler Thigpen is the Chiefs third string quarterback, and while he isn't going to confuse anyone with Peyton Manning he has been playing mistake free football and will scramble for some yards if the defense isn't careful. One of the Keys for the Chargers will be to play mistake free football; Tampa turned the ball over four times and was just flat lucky to come away with a win. For the view from the other side, be sure to check out the excellent Chiefs blog at Arrowhead Pride.