Preview: Kansas City at San Diego

When: 4:25 PM ET, Sunday, January 1, 2017
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California


The Kansas City Chiefs need a sixth consecutive win over the San Diego Chargers – on the road, no less – to keep alive their hopes of claiming the AFC West title and a first-round bye in the playoffs. The Chiefs must have a victory at San Diego on Sunday, coupled with an Oakland loss at Denver at the same time, to win the division and upgrade from the AFC’s No. 5 seed to the No. 2 slot.



The Chiefs pummeled rival Denver 33-10 last week to preserve their hopes of a division crown, and now they must root for those same Broncos, while the Chargers hope to help their own arch-rivals win the division. "It's a little bit weird thinking we can be winning a game to help Oakland win the division," San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers told reporters. "For us, this week is about being a pro and going about it the right way and winning another division game." The Chargers had the dubious distinction of becoming the first team to lose to Cleveland this season, falling 20-17 on the road last week for their fourth straight loss. The Chiefs have gone 9-2 since a 2-2 start that included a 33-27 overtime win over San Diego in Week 1 - a game in which the Chargers led 24-3 late in the third quarter.

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Chiefs -5.5. O/U: 44.5



ABOUT THE CHIEFS (11-4): Kansas City’s offense has appeared pedestrian at times, but quarterback Alex Smith is surrounded with enough weapons to do some damage. Spencer Ware needs 79 rushing yards to become the 10th different player in franchise history to top 1,000 in a season, tight end Travis Kelce is having a huge campaign and dynamic rookie Tyreek Hill is a threat to score every time he touches the ball while continuing to take on a larger role. The defense has had its share of trouble stopping the run, but a league-best 31 takeaways and a relentless pass rush have helped keep points off the board.

ABOUT THE CHARGERS (5-10): San Diego’s passing game remains dangerous despite the fact Rivers has lost many of his top targets to injuries throughout the season. The ground game has not been as effective, but Melvin Gordon needs just three yards on the ground to become the fourth different player in team history with 1,000 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in a season. A whopping 33 turnovers often have put the defense in bad situations, but the unit has come up with plenty of big plays, as cornerback Casey Hayward leads the league with seven interceptions and defensive end Joey Bosa’s 9 1/2 sacks are the most among NFL rookies.



EXTRA POINTS

1. Kansas City has won 10 straight games against division opponents. 

2. San Diego has topped 100 yards rushing only once in its last six games and three times in the past 13. 

3. Kelce’s six 100-yard receiving performances are tied for the most by a tight end since 1999. 



PREDICTION: Chiefs 27, Chargers 20


Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Kansas City 11-4 W1 23.5 18.9 6-2 5-2 9-4 2-0 2-0 5-0 8-3
San Diego 5-10 L4 25.5 25.7 3-4 2-6 4-9 1-1 1-1 1-4 4-7

Last Meeting

Kansas City San Diego
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
9/11/16 SD 27 KC 33 413 83 330 388 155 233

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
KC A. Smith 70.8 363 2 1
SD P. Rivers 69.4 243 1 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
KC S. Ware 11 70 6.4 1
SD D. Woodhead 16 89 5.6 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
KC S. Ware 7 129 18.4 0
SD T. Williams 2 71 35.5 0
TDs Player TD
KC T. Hill 1
SD M. Gordon 2
Season
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
KC A. Smith 66.6 3238 13 7
SD P. Rivers 60.6 4117 31 19
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
KC S. Ware 214 921 4.3 3
SD M. Gordon 254 997 3.9 10
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
KC T. Kelce 84 1117 13.3 4
SD T. Williams 63 989 15.7 7
TDs Player TD
KC T. Hill 11
SD M. Gordon 12

Quickchart Matchup

Kansas City Off vs  San Diego Def
341.5 yards
345.9 yards
4.3 yards/rush
3.9 yards/rush
6.7 yards/attempt
6.7 yards/attempt
San Diego Off vs  Kansas City Def
354 yards
366.5 yards
3.7 yards/rush
4.4 yards/rush
7.2 yards/attempt
6.6 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Kansas City Overall San Diego
11-4 W/L 5-10
8-7-0 ATS 7-8-0
5-10-0 O/U 8-6-1
23.5 Pts For 25.5
18.9 Pts Against 25.7
Kansas City A/H San Diego
5-2 W/L 3-4
5-2-0 ATS 3-4-0
3-4-0 O/U 4-2-1
23.0 Pts For 28.1
22.6 Pts Against 25.0