Oct 20, 2006

Chiefs Game Day Preview


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TV: CBS Regional Coverage (KCTV-5 in Kansas City) – Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon.
NATIONAL RADIO: CBS Radio/Westwood One – Bill Rosinski and Dan Reeves.
LOCAL RADIO: KCFX-FM (101.1) – Mitch Holthus, Len Dawson, Bob Gretz and Bill Grigsby.

Kansas City opens a two-game homestand beginning with a pivotal AFC West match up against San Diego on Sunday (10/22). With two-time Pro Bowl QB Trent Green sidelined, Kansas City has produced a 2-2 record in four starts by Chiefs backup QB Damon Huard, who was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Chiefs to a 23-20 comeback victory at Arizona (10/8).

Although Kansas City owns a 2-3 mark after suffering a 45-7 loss at Pittsburgh (10/15), the Chiefs have won eight of their last nine home meetings with San Diego. The Chiefs will face a 4-1 San Diego squad that is arguably one of the NFL’s hottest clubs. The Chargers only loss came by a narrow, 16-13 margin at Baltimore (10/1). San Diego is coming off a 48-19 victory last week at San Francisco (10/15) and has boasted an average margin of victory of 24.8 ppg in its four wins, the second-largest winning margin of any team in the league this season.

Sunday’s contest will mark the first time that Herm Edwards has squared off against Marty Schottenheimer as Kansas City’s head coach. Edwards served three seasons (’92-94) as the Chiefs defensive backs coach during Schottenheimer’s 10-year tenure (’89-98) as KC’s field general. The two coaches have met on four previous occasions when Edwards served as head coach of the N.Y. Jets (2001-05), including a 20-17 OT win by the Jets in the 2004 AFC Playoffs (1/8/05).

Chargers QB Phillip Rivers currently leads the AFC with a 100.6 rating and will make his Arrowhead debut on Sunday. Meanwhile, Huard boasts a 94.3 rating for Kansas City, a mark that ranks fourth in the conference. Chiefs RB Larry Johnson ranks second in the NFL, averaging 126.2 yards from scrimmage (rushing and receiving) per game, while Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson is tied for fifth in that category at 116.2 ypg. Tomlinson is tied for the NFL lead with seven TDs, including a franchise-record four rushing scores last week.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Chiefs. Up next are the defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks at Arrowhead (10/29). Meanwhile, San Diego returns home to face St. Louis (10/29).

Kansas City holds a 48-43-1 all-time advantage over San Diego in regular and postseason play. The only team the Chiefs have defeated more frequently is Denver (51). All 48 of those victories against San Diego have come in regular season play. The Chiefs snapped a three-game losing streak against the Chargers with a 20-7 victory at Arrowhead (12/24/05). Kansas City has won nine of its last 11 meetings with the Chargers at Arrowhead dating back to ‘95, including a seven-game stretch of home wins against San Diego from ‘97-03.

The Chiefs are seeking to construct their first winning streak against the Chargers since claiming three consecutive victories against San Diego from 2002-03. The home team has won 15 of the last 20 games in this series dating back to ‘96. Kansas City owns a 4-4 record against San Diego since former Chiefs head coach took the reins of the Chargers in 2002.

Chiefs-Chargers matchups are traditionally closely-contested battles. Excluding one tie between the two teams, a total of 10 games in this series have been decided by exactly one point, the most of any series in the league since ‘60. The last such one-point game in this AFC West series resulted in a 35-34 Chargers win at San Diego (10/13/02). Interestingly, the initial meeting between these two squads was the first regular season game in the history of both franchises when the Dallas Texans lost a 21-20 decision to the L.A. Chargers at the L.A. Coliseum (9/10/60).

The Chiefs and Chargers have met just one time in postseason play. San Diego claimed a win in the lone playoff tilt between the two clubs, registering a 17-0 victory in a ‘92 AFC Wild Card Playoff Game at San Diego (1/2/93).