San Diego Chargers vs Kansas City Chiefs Monday Night Football Game
This week’s Monday Night Football game features an AFC West rivalry between the Kansas City Chiefs (3-3), who are feeling a lot better about themselves, against the San Diego Chargers (4-2) at 8:30pm ET on ESPN. The Chiefs are in a lot better position than they were when these two teams met last month. The Chiefs will be seeking their fourth consecutive win and can pull within a half-game of the AFC West lead when they host the division-leading Chargers on Monday night. Such a scenario seemed highly improbable when the Chiefs suffered a narrow 20-17 loss at San Diego to drop to 0-3, but after having been outscored 89-10 in the first two weeks and losing star running back Jamaal Charles to a season-ending knee injury, they have straightened out their act and will be looking to continue their charge in front of their home fans this week.
San Diego was on their way to the fourth straight win and shutting up Rex Ryan before blowing an 11-point halftime lead in a 27-21 loss at the New York Jets last week. San Diego was scoreless in the second half and received another shaky outing from QB Philip Rivers, who threw for a season-low 179 yards and had his fourth two-interception game, both coming in the fourth quarter. Rivers was also picked off twice by the Chiefs, but RB Ryan Mathews ran for 98 yards and a pair of first-half touchdowns. TE Antonio Gates had five catches for 54 yards and a TD last week in his return from injury, but he will have a tougher time against a recently stout Chiefs defense.
The Chargers are listed as a 3-point favorite on the road, but I’m not so sure that they will cover that spread or even win this game. The Chiefs offense has found some continuity behind running back Jackie Battle and Todd Haley has to be relieved that his team found an answer to the Jamaal Charles injury before it was too late in the season. Kansas City rode six interceptions to a 28-0 win at division rival Oakland last week. Kendrick Lewis and Brandon Flowers returns picks for touchdowns, helping the Chiefs survive a mediocre outing by Matt Cassel, who threw for 161 yards and was intercepted twice. Bruising RB Jackie Battle has rushed for 195 yards in the last two games after having 10 carries in the first four. Kansas City has turned its season around thanks to a soft schedule, beating Minnesota and Indianapolis (a combined 1-13) and a Raiders team that lost star RB Darren McFadden to injury in the first quarter and was without starting QB Jason Campbell.
The Chiefs will need a great all-around performance if they are going to continue their winning streak, but I think that they will show up in front of their home crowd. Arrowhead Stadium is one of the toughest places to play for visiting teams and I am certain that the 12th man will be pumped up for this Monday night primetime matchup. San Diego has won seven of their last eight meetings against the Chiefs, but that streak will come to a screeching halt this week as Kansas City will keep it going with a late field goal. The Chargers struggles in recent years have come late in the season in recent years, but I think that they are going to hit a speed bump and will struggle in this next stage in the season. Their receiving corps is riddled with nagging injuries and without a completely healthy roster; Philip Rivers will struggle to put up enough points to win on Monday night.