1. The Chiefs started out 9-0 but have gone 2-4 in their last 6 games. What has changed? that has caused the tide to turn?
Honestly, they're playing better teams. That's really what it comes down to. In those first nine games, the only "signature" win might be at Philly or the Cowboys at Arrowhead. In the games since then, the Chiefs have lost to the Broncos twice, Chargers and Colts. Granted, they played Denver and San Diego tight, but it really just comes down to the Chiefs playing better teams in the second half of the season. For whatever reason, they got very lucky in playing a lot of backup quarterbacks in those first nine games. Not that the Chiefs are complaining about that -- they can only play who is put in front of them -- but we have to recognize that.
2. I can't seem to make sense of who is the Chiefs' backup QB, and this seems important for this week's game. Please help me out.
Chase Daniel is the backup. Behind him is Tyler Bray, a rookie who has yet to be active. Daniel has been just OK this year. Plenty of folks thought during training camp that Bray was the better option. Daniel hasn't had any significant playing time so evaluating him is difficult. We're basing this off of what we saw in training camp so perhaps he's a lot better. It does sound like we will find out this week, which is exciting for Chiefs fans.
3. Where do you stand on the idea of resting starters? If you were Andy Reid, would you rest the Chiefs starters? Does it change anything that the game is against a division rival?
I would play the starters for at least a half, maybe more, just depending on how the game goes. I would not want them to play at least some but based on Andy Reid's history, they're going to play very little. It's not official yet but the thinking in Kansas City is that the starters will hardly play at all. The interesting part of this is that Andy Reid is one of the best coaches in the NFL when his team is coming off of a bye week. This Week 17, which means nothing for the Chiefs, is kind of like a bye week. So I defer to Andy Reid to do what's needed to get the team ready for Wild Card weekend. He clearly knows a thing or two about preparation.
4. What is KC's goal for this game besides not getting injured?
Yeah, not getting injured is the big one. Getting some key backups some reps. Knile Davis, who backs up Jamaal Charles, is one of those guys. The Chiefs need him to spell Charles at times and while he has been excellent at times, he's also had an issue hanging onto the ball. Fix that problem. Chase Daniel needs to get some work in case something goes horribly wrong and he has to play on Wild Card weekend. Dunta Robinson played last week ahead of Marcus Cooper. The Chiefs need to figure out who out of those two will be playing the lion's share of the snaps in the playoffs. There are a few items like that they need to fix up but the most important answer here, as you noted, is playing injury-free.
5. What's your prediction for the game?
The Chiefs never seem to win in San Diego. I don't see the Chiefs winning this game while playing a number of backups. Chargers win, 28-10.