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Five Kansas City Chiefs questions with Arrowhead Pride

Joel Thorman from Arrowhead Pride stops by to answer some questions about Chase Daniel and the rest of the Kansas City Chiefs as they prepare to play the San Diego Chargers in a week 17 do-or-die matchup.

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
1. With Alex Smith out, what is the plan on offense? Will the Chiefs have a backup plan if the Chargers can stop Jamaal Charles?

The Chiefs will be starting Chase Daniel on Sunday. You should be as familiar with him as I am because he has played just one game for Kansas City -- Week 17 against San Diego last year. The Chiefs offensive focus really doesn't change all that much with Chase instead of Alex. Jamaal Charles remains a priority, perhaps even more so now. Travis Kelce is still one of the best weapons the Chiefs need to use regularly.

Chase Daniel needs to avoid turnovers while the Chiefs offense has to avoid becoming one dimensional. That wouldn't be fair to Daniel who hardly plays to be facing a significant deficit where the defense can pin their ears back and come after him.

2. The key to the Chargers offense remains Antonio Gates. With Eric Berry out, who will cover him in the KC defensive backfield?

The Chiefs will have various coverages for Gates but Ron Parker and Husain Abdullah as the safeties will have their shots on him. Parker is the one replacing Berry and has actually done a pretty good job at safety. He was playing cornerback previously so he has some versatility there and has some nice speed. That said, I don't have a lot of confidence the Chiefs can stop Antonio Gates. That's not a knock on the Chiefs, it's a nod to Gates and the Chargers. The Chiefs will just have to avoid giving up the big plays to Gates.

3. Has Andy Reid given any hint that he's coaching this game different than he has the first 15 games of the season? What do the Chiefs need to happen to get into the playoffs?

You know Andy Reid is consistent and plans to call it the way he always has (or at least that's what he says). The Chiefs need to beat the Chargers and have the Browns beat the Ravens and the Jaguars beat the Texans. The Browns and Jaguars are huge underdogs. In fact, the Chiefs, Browns and Jaguars haven't won on the same weekend in four years. It's a long shot but the Chiefs were also a long shot in 2006 when the stars aligned perfectly for a playoff berth on the last Sunday of the season.

4. What has changed with the Chiefs since they last played the Chargers?

The Chiefs have shuffled the offensive line around but it's still a problem. They can have awful lapses that just kill drives. Unfortunately it seems to be getting worse as the season goes on, not better. The Chiefs are also without Berry this time around. He'll be replaced by Ron Parker. Since Parker was playing corner, that means that rookie Philip Gaines is seeing more playing time at cornerback. He and Jamell Fleming are new faces at cornerback.

5. What is your prediction for the game?

Chiefs win, 28-27. I made this prediction before the Smith injury but I'm going to stick with it.

Editor's Note: FanDuel is hosting a $500,000 one-week fantasy football league this weekend. It's $10 to join and first place wins $40,000. League starts Sunday 1 PM ET and ends on Monday night. Here's the link.