Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 10/31/11

Division rivals will fight for a win tonight, and this might actually be a Monday night game worth watching as many of the Monday Night Football matchups this season have been less than entertaining.

Leading the AFC West, the San Diego Chargers (4-2) will travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs (3-3). Kansas City looked buried at 0-3, but they have a huge opportunity tonight to get right back into the thick of the AFC West race.

Let’s take a look at the teams.

San Diego Chargers

San Diego is coming off a loss to the New York Jets in week 7. Quarterback Philip Rivers needs to step up his game. He’s been easily flustered this year and has been more hesitant when the play doesn’t come through immediately. With only seven touchdowns and nine interceptions this season, Rivers needs to pull himself together. Kansas City is not a team against whom you want to make mistakes, as the Oakland Raiders learned last week.

Key for Rivers is to relax and let the plays come together instead of trying to force the play and making unnecessary mistakes. Having Antonio Gates back healthy should help in that regard. The Chargers offense is 8th in the league with total number of yards, but they are only 15th in number of points per game. The offense for this team is decent, but it could definitely be better, and has been in the not so recent past.

The Chargers are ranked 7th in the league for passing yards per game with 273.2. Running back Mike Tolbert has been listed questionable for the game due to a hand injury. Leading the team in receptions and second in rushing, this put pressure on other offensive players Ryan Matthews (running back) and Vincent Jackson (wide receiver). Jackson has dealt with nagging injuries all season, but practiced for his first full week. He was shut down last week against the Jets, but the matchup against the Chiefs should allow him to make some plays.

San Diego’s defense has suffered a multitude of injuries and is thinning out. Safety Bob Sanders and outside linebacker Larry English are both out for the season, while defensive end Luis Castillo remains out for an extended period of time, and outside linebacker Shaun Phillips is out for at least Monday’s game. Inside linebacker Donald Butler mentioned that the defense is still trying to build the chemistry needed to hold strong offenses.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs offense has struggled this season. Quarterback Matt Cassel has had eight touchdowns and a completion percentage of 63.5, but he has hurt the team with seven interceptions. Cassel has struggled when facing the Chargers and has only thrown for 200 yards once in the last five starts against San Diego. Luckily, Cassel will be playing at home and will have the home crowd to help him focus on the game.

The Chiefs are ranked 7th in league in rushing yards with 129.3. However, they are ranked a lowly 30th for their receiving yards. Running back Jackie Battle has led the Chiefs in rushing yards with 232 in 45 carries. Battle along with Thomas Jones will be the rushing players to watch. Jones and Battle have not been stopped when up against weak defenses KC has played lately. With the Chargers feeling some hurt on the defensive side of the ball, this will be a great opportunity for the Chiefs top ranked rushing tandem to shine.

Wide Receiver Dwayne Bowe has helped the offense by leading in receiving yards with 496 yards and four touchdowns. When facing the Chargers in week three, Bowe had 67 yard receiving and one touchdown. Steve Breaston should also play a big part in the game for the Chiefs on Monday. With all eyes focused on Bowe, the Chiefs are sure to make some big plays to Breaston to try to beat out rival Chargers.

Chiefs-Chargers Prediction

While the Chiefs have the home field advantage, I believe the Chargers will pull through and defeat Kansas City for the second time this season. I believe it will be a close game that will be dictated by the offenses, as both defenses have been plagued by injuries.

Overall, the Chargers offense will outplay the Chiefs, with Philip Rivers having the chance to pull it together against the average Chiefs defense, and the Chargers will pull farther ahead in the AFC West.

San Diego Chargers 28 | Kansas City Chiefs 21

**********

San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs Game Info
  • Chargers-Chiefs Date, Time, and TV: Monday, October 31st at 8:30 ET on ESPN
  • Chargers-Chiefs Announcers: Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, and Ron Jaworski
  • Chargers-Chiefs Point Spread: Chargers -3.5
  • Chargers-Chiefs Over-Under Odds: 44

 

 

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