1. Can the Chiefs win if Jamaal Charles doesn't have a big day?
Obviously that's a much more difficult task but sure it's possible. The Chiefs have won two games this year. In one of those (Dolphins), Charles did not play as Knile Davis carried the ball 32 times to a 19-point victory. The other game (Patriots) Charles did play but was still out-rushed by Davis. This split between the two is fairly new as Davis was never this big of a part of the game plan.
We're really not sure how the split will continue but to answer your question, yes the Chiefs offense can operate with Charles. That home run threat is not quite as prevalent with Charles but they can still dink and dunk you down the field.
2. How has the Chiefs secondary looked without Brandon Flowers?
It was rough the first two games but things are coming along a little bit more each week. Brandon Flowers is obviously playing better than his replacement Marcus Cooper which is a tough pill to swallow but I am actually surprised by the Chiefs secondary so far this year. Eric Berry hasn't played since Week 2 and his replacement Ron Parker (former cornerback) has done a nice job.
Safety Husain Abdullah is turning into one of my favorite Chiefs because they will play him anywhere on the field. With some turnover in the secondary my expectations for the group were low but I have been content with the way they've performed. The thing that the Chiefs have been missing is the turnovers, which has been frustrating. The Chiefs Week 4 game against the Patriots is the only one they've created turnovers.
3. Is the KC pass rush as good this year as it was last year?
It's as good as it was last year, yes. Especially with the Chiefs top two pass rushers healthy unlike the second half of last season. Justin Houston got better this year and will make a run at the sack title this year. Tamba Hali is not yet over-the-hill despite us asking that question every single year. He disrupts the quarterback so often even without the sacks to prove it.
Dee Ford, the Chiefs first round pick, is not much of a factor playing only a handful of snaps a game. But those handful of snaps he could be rushing the passer with Houston and Hali on the field so you have to notice him. One nice bonus this year has been defensive end Allen Bailey, who has played well this year and added some pass rush from the line which we haven't seen in a while.
4. Are the Chiefs better than their 2-3 record might suggest?
That record is about right to me. That's really what I figured at this point in the season. I had the Chiefs beating the Titans (they lost) and Dolphins while losing to the Broncos, Patriots (they won) and 49ers. The reason I might lean towards saying they're a little better than that record is because of how tough they have played two elite teams, the Broncos and 49ers. The Chiefs had the ball late with a chance to win or tie in both of those games.
As they proved last year, they can hang with the NFL's elite ... they have just had trouble proving they can consistently beat them. This Chargers team will be a great test for the Chiefs.
5. What's your prediction for the game?
I have the Chargers winning 27-24. Last year's Chiefs-Chargers games are enough reason to say that this one should be close. My biggest concern is stopping Philip Rivers. It seems like the Chiefs can never do that. With the extra time off the Chiefs will be able to slow him down but he is still a major problem. My hope is that the Chiefs sell out to stop the pass and make the Chargers beat them somewhere else. Ultimately, the Chargers prevail. Can't wait til I'm wrong!
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