Chiefs vs. Bolts Preview
When San Diego hosts the Chiefs on Sunday, it will look to continue its push for a fourth consecutive division title.
The Chargers try to win their sixth straight overall and fifth in a row over Kansas City, which is attempting to notch three consecutive victories for the first time in three years.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com have made the Chargers –13.5 point spread favorites (View NFL odds) for Sunday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 59% of bets for this game have been placed on the Chargers –13.5 (View NFL bet percentages).
Coming off a 34-23 loss to Denver six days earlier that dropped it 3 1/2 games behind the Broncos for the West lead, San Diego (7-3) routed Kansas City 37-7 at Arrowhead Stadium on Oct. 25.
"Hopefully, this is something we can build on," Philip Rivers said after throwing for 268 yards and three touchdowns in that victory.
The Chargers have since gone undefeated, winning 32-3 last Sunday in Denver to move atop the division.
Rivers completed 17 of 22 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown, LaDainian Tomlinson and Mike Tolbert each ran for a score and the defense forced three turnovers and had three sacks in what coach Norv Turner called the team's most complete effort of the season.
"The best thing about it is that we're not anywhere near where we can be," said Turner, whose team looks for its first six-game winning streak since the end of the 2007 regular season.
San Diego, though, is not about to overlook the 3-7 Chiefs, who beat Pittsburgh 27-24 in overtime last week.
"For Pittsburgh to go in there and lose to Kansas City, that's a real eye opener to everybody in the NFL," offensive tackle Marcus McNeill told the Chargers' official Web site. "It doesn't matter who you play. You've got to come to play. We're on a little streak right now and we want to keep it going."
So do the Chiefs, who look for their first three-game winning streak since Oct. 22-Nov. 5, 2006.
"A lot of hard work has gone into it and our coaches and players and everybody has really bought in," said rookie Ryan Succop, who kicked the winning field goal against the Steelers.
That includes veteran wide receiver Chris Chambers, who caught four passes for a season-high 119 yards. His 61-yard reception in overtime set up the winning kick.
"I think the feeling is definitely good, the confidence is starting to build a little bit," said Chambers, who will face the Chargers for the first time since they waived him Nov. 2.
Chambers' production comes at a good time for Kansas City, as leading receiver Dwayne Bowe will serve the second of his four-game suspension Sunday for violating the league's policy against performance-enhancing substances.
Without Bowe, Matt Cassell looks to build on a solid second half last Sunday when he threw a pair of TDs, including a 2-yarder to running back Jamaal Charles with 4:54 left in regulation that made it 24-all.
"I've got to hand it to him, the kid's a fighter," coach Todd Haley said of Cassell, who threw for 97 yards with a career-high three interceptions last month against San Diego.
Charles returned six kicks for 147 yards in that game and had 158 return yards last week, including a 97-yard TD on the opening kickoff for the Chiefs' first kickoff return for a score in four years.
Charles will face a San Diego rush defense that is 21st in the league, allowing 118.5 yards per game.
Tomlinson, who has rushed for five touchdowns in the last four weeks, will be running behind newly signed right tackle Jon Runyan after Jeromey Clary (ankle) was placed on injured reserve.
Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who picked off his team-leading third pass last Sunday, is under investigation for assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly hitting someone in the head with a champagne bottle at a San Diego bar early Monday morning.
Cromartie, who is expected to play this week, posted the following message on his Twitter account in response to the allegations: "I want to apologize to charger nation and my fans. There's sum stuff out abt me that's not true. It will come out. God Bless."
Posted: 11/25/09 7:49PM ET