Quarterback Alex Smith and Coach Andy Reid have been a great combination for the Chiefs this season. (kcchiefs.com)
The Kansas City Chiefs play their final regular season game Sunday against the San Diego Chargers capping off a memorable 2013. At the end of 2012 from worst to first seemed nearly improbable, but the Chiefs proved everybody wrong and nearly accomplished the feat and will continue to play football headed into January in the playoffs.
The final game of the regular season does not have any playoff implications for the Chiefs but may have an entirely different meaning for the Chargers depending on the outcomes of two other games. The Chiefs have clinched the 5th seed wild card and the Chargers are still hunting to claim the sixth and final spot for the AFC.
The Chargers will need to beat the Chiefs and will need a little help from both the Bengals and Jets to beat both the Ravens and Dolphins respectively. Both of those games have a 1:00 EST start time and depending on their outcomes it may affect the play of the Chargers.
What to expect
If both the Dolphins and Ravens lose, expect the Chargers to give it their all with hopes of reaching the playoffs. If either team wins in the early games, then win or lose, the Chargers will be eliminated and the game will not matter for either the Chiefs or the Chargers.
No matter what happens for the Chargers, I would not expect the Chiefs starters to play most of the game. If it were me, I would not play Jamaal Charles at all. Charles has proven just have effective he can be to this football team and does not need to go out there on Sunday and risk an injury and be unable to compete when the team needs him the most.
I would, however, play Alex Smith more than I would Charles. I think it would be a bad idea for Smith not to play at all and then have two full weeks off before he plays his next snaps. After playing every Sunday all year, then to take two weeks off without any game action may cause Smith to be rusty and lose some of the chemistry and timing with his receivers. I would play Smith at least for the first half, and if it is a close game I would continue to keep him in.
The Chiefs right now are lined up to have a rematch with the Indianapolis Colts in a road contest in the first round of the playoffs. For Chiefs fans this sounds like terrible news as the Chiefs have not had much success against the Colts come playoff time. This year will hopefully be a different result for the Chiefs and their fans as both the Colts and Chiefs have new faces running their teams and Kansas City is ready for their first playoff victory since 1993.
Game time: 3:25 PM CST at Qualcomm Stadium
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