Live Free Picks
Home Of 500 Handicappers
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
The No. 1 question mark entering the season for the Kansas City Chiefs was the condition of star running back Jamaal Charles’ surgically repaired knee. Charles put any concerns to rest last week, rushing for 233 yards and a touchdown to rally the Chiefs past the New Orleans Saints for a much-needed overtime victory after opening the season with a pair of lopsided defeats. Kansas City will play its first division game Sunday when it hosts AFC West rival San Diego. The Chargers opened the season with two wins but turned in a clunker at home against Atlanta, failing to score a touchdown in a 27-3 loss.
San Diego has won seven of the last nine meetings between the teams, but the Chiefs have prevailed in the last two at home, including last season’s victory when they forced four turnovers and won in overtime. Running back Ryan Mathews saw his first action last week for the Chargers, rushing for 44 yards on 10 carries and catching five passes for 32 yards. He had missed the first two games while recovering from a fractured collarbone.
ABOUT THE CHARGERS (2-1): After putting up a combined 60 points in wins over Oakland and Tennessee, San Diego was manhandled by the Falcons and scored its lowest point total since November 2002. Quarterback Philip Rivers was intercepted twice and threw for only 173 yards, his lowest output since the final game of the 2009 season. Mathews, who ran for over 1,000 yards last season, is expected to see an increased workload, but the Chargers’ passing game has struggled. New acquisition Robert Meachem, expected to fulfill the void left by the absence of Vincent Jackson, has only six catches for 92 yards.
ABOUT THE CHIEFS (1-2): Charles, who ran for only three yards on six carries in a Week 2 loss at Buffalo, joined the legendary Jim Brown as the only players to amass 225 rushing yards and 50 yards receiving in the same game. He jump-started Kansas City’s comeback last week with a 91-yard scoring run and his six receptions were his highest since the 2009 season. Quarterback Matt Cassel has already been sacked 11 times and thrown four interceptions while owning a passer rating of 73.8. Kansas City’s defense finally showed up, holding Drew Brees and Co. scoreless in the second half and limiting the Saints to 288 total yards.
1. Rivers needs 27 yards to become the third QB in franchise history (John Hadl, Dan Fouts) to reach 25,000 yards.
2. Kansas City, which leads the NFL with 191.7 rushing yards per game, could be without both RB Peyton Hillis (ankle) and WR Dexter McCluster (elbow).
3. The Chargers had a streak of 151 games with a touchdown snapped last week.