Dec 15, 2006

Game Day Preview

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Chiefs vs Chargers

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TV: NBC National Coverage (KSHB-41 in Kansas City) Al Michaels, John Madden and Andrea Kremer.
NATIONAL RADIO: CBS Radio/Westwood One: Dave Sims, Bob Trumpy and Kevin Kiley.
LOCAL RADIO: KCFX-FM (101.1) Mitch Holthus, Len Dawson, Bob Gretz and Bill Grigsby.

Kansas City and San Diego will square off in a nationally-televised Sunday night contest on NBC as the Chiefs visit Qualcomm Stadium. The Chiefs own a 7-6 record and are attempting to snap a two-game losing streak after suffering a 20-10 loss vs. Baltimore (12/10). Kansas City needs to pull off its second win of the season against the Chargers if the Chiefs have aspirations of getting into the AFC Wild Card chase.

The Chargers are arguably the NFL’s hottest squad, owning a seven-game winning streak. San Diego clinched the AFC West with a 48-20 win vs. Denver (12/10). San Diego owns an AFC-best 11-2 record and is seeking to stay ahead of Indianapolis (10-3) and Baltimore (10-3) in the race for homefield advantage in the AFC.

Kansas City head coach Herm Edwards owns a 4-1 career record versus Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer in the regular season and playoffs. Edwards’ squad won the initial clash of the year between these two teams when K Lawrence Tynes drilled a 53-yard FG with 0:06 remaining to thwart a furious San Diego fourth-quarter comeback and give Kansas CIty a 30-27 victory (10/22), making Kansas City the most recent team to defeat the Chargers.
It’s been over a decade since these two AFC West rivals dueled in prime time. In fact, Schottenheimer was still guiding the Chiefs fortunes at the time as Kansas City won a dramatic 29-23 decision in overtime on Monday Night Football at Arrowhead (10/9/95) thanks to an 86-yard punt return TD that provided the game’s winning points for the Chiefs.

Two of the league’s finest all-purpose threats will be on display in this contest. Chiefs RB Larry Johnson leads the NFL in rushing with 1,432 yards (110.2 ypg) and is second with 1,811 yards from scrimmage (139.3 ypg). Meanwhile, Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson owns an NFL-high 1,906 yards from scrimmage (146.7 ypg) and is second in the league with 1,427 rushing yards (109.8 ypg). Johnson has nine 100-yard rushing games in 2006 and is on pace to eclipse his own single-season franchise record of 1,750 rushing yards that he established in 2005. Tomlinson is on a torrid scoring pace and set the NFL single-season record with his 29th TD of the season last week.

Kansas City holds a 49-43-1 all-time advantage over San Diego in regular and postseason play. All 49 of those victories against San Diego have come in regular season play. KC is seeking to secure its 50th victory against San Diego. The only teams the Chiefs have defeated more frequently are Denver (52) and Oakland (50). The Chiefs have won their last two meetings with the Chargers, both of which have come at Arrowhead. Kansas City claimed a 30-27 victory in the most recent meeting between the two squads (10/22).

The Chiefs are seeking to construct their first three-game winning streak against the Chargers since 2002-03. The home team has won 16 of the last 21 games in this series dating back to ‘96. Kansas City owns a 5-4 record against San Diego since former Chiefs head coach Marty Schottenheimer took the reins of the Chargers in 2002. Kansas City has lost its last two visits to Qualcomm Stadium and is seeking to avoid its first three-game losing streak at San Diego since ‘98-00.

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).

The National Football League officially announced on Monday that Kansas City’s game at San Diego on Sunday has been moved to a 7:15 PM (Central) kickoff as part of the league’s “flexible scheduling” policy and will be broadcast nationally by NBC. The game had previously been slated to kick off at 3:05 PM (Central) on CBS. The Chiefs-Chargers game will now be broadcast locally in Kansas City on KSHB-TV (NBC 41).