The Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers are “co-tenants” in the West Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) and two teams on the verge of becoming spectators in January. The Chargers, the home team in this Sunday’s contest, have played poorly throughout the current season and are in last place in the division with a Won-Loss record of just 2-7.
The Kansas City Chiefs, the visiting team in this upcoming contest, started the season poorly, but appear to have “righted their ship” in the past couple of weeks. The Chiefs now find themselves with a Won-Loss record of 4-5 and are in second place, three games behind the first place Denver Broncos.
It seems apparent that San Diego, with just two wins after nine games, has little to play for in its remaining seven games. First place in the division is already out of reach and San Diego would have to “go on a lengthy winning streak” in order to pass the several teams ahead of it in a quest for one of two available Wild Cards.
An invitation to the postseason seems to be improbable which means that the Chargers can only give meaning to their remaining games if they step up and play the role of “spoiler.” This team, led by Philip Rivers, has the personnel to make every game it plays difficult for its opponents. And the team from southern California has games on its schedule that will pit it against squads still fighting for a chance to be in the playoffs.
Kansas City, thanks to its recent surge, is one of those teams that can “punch a ticket” to the postseason. The Chiefs will have to win the majority of their remaining games if they hope to leap-frog past teams that are currently ahead of them in the standings.
This Midwestern squad has talented personnel on both sides of the ball. It has a reliable quarterback in Alex Smith and a clever Head Coach, Andy Reid. But everything it has amounts to nothing if, collectively, this group of players and coaches can’t find a way to consistently excel on the gridiron.
Kansas City is responsible for the position in which it finds itself. It lost games to inferior opponents in the season’s early stages. Those games are “on the books” and the results can’t be changed. But, if the Chiefs continue their recent solid performances in the games ahead, beginning this Sunday, a chance to play in January is a distinct possibility.
San Diego, with performers “auditioning” to keep their jobs, will be all out to derail any chance the Chiefs have of advancing beyond the regular season. The Chiefs certainly know that they are in for a real battle when they line up across from the home team Chargers.
The thinking here is that the squad that wants this game more will make enough key plays on the field to emerge with the victory.
Courtesy of CBS Sports