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The San Diego Chargers will win against the Kansas City Chiefs

Each week, we give fans of the San Diego Chargers three reasons to be optimistic about the upcoming game. This week, the team travels to Kansas City to take on the 9-1 Chiefs.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Philip Rivers

Here's a long-ish list of QBs the Kansas City Chiefs have gone up against this season:

  • Blaine Gabbert / Chad Henne
  • Tony Romo
  • Michael Vick
  • Eli Manning
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • Terrelle Pryor
  • Case Keenum
  • Jason Campbell
  • Jeff Tuel
  • Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning is still ranked #1 in DVOA among starting QBs, and Philip Rivers is ranked #3. Outside of Manning and Romo (#7), none of the rest of those guys are in the top 18 QBs in the league.

The Chiefs defense might be the best the Chargers have faced this season, but Rivers is the second-best QB Kansas City has faced this year. With Manning obviously hobbled by an ankle injury last week (and Rivers being 100% healthy), this might actually be the toughest challenge the Chiefs' vaunted secondary has faced this year.

Ryan Mathews

Watch this.

Ryan Mathews rushing stats 2013:

  • Games 1-5 (average): 13.4 carries, 45.6 rush yds, 3.49 yards per carry, zero touchdowns
  • Games 6-10 (average): 16.6 carries, 86.4 rush yds, 5.2 yards per carry, 0.4 touchdowns

Well, that certainly seems like an improvement. Add in the fact that he hasn't fumbled since Week 1 and hasn't missed a game yet this year and Mathews has been everything that A.J. Smith thought that he could be this season.

Mathews might be a case of a good draft pick by Smith that was made to look bad due to poor coaching. We're seeing what Mathews can do now that he has Ken Whisenhunt and Mike McCoy pushing him.

Now, the Chiefs defense may be great against the pass, but their blitzing and aggressiveness can sometimes hurt them against the run. In fact, they've given up 100+ rushing yards in half of their games this season and 200+ rushing yards against the Bills and Eagles.

This could be another big game for Mathews, who seems to gain confidence with each week.

Chiefs Looking Ahead

The 9-1 Chiefs are coming off their first loss of the season, in Denver against the 9-1 Broncos. These two teams are battling it out for playoff positioning and for the division championship.

Next week, the Broncos travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium. It will be a rematch of AFC titans and will undoubtedly be the most watched NFL game next week. Andy Reid's squad will be looking for revenge, and to prove themselves to those that still believe the Chiefs haven't beaten a good team.

With the most important game of the regular season just 7 days away, is it possible that the Chiefs will be looking ahead? You'll recall that the most impressive victory of the season for the Chargers was over the Indianapolis Colts, who were caught looking ahead to their matchup the following week....against the Broncos. Can it happen again?