The Kansas City Chiefs will try to get off to a fast start against the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football next week. The Chiefs have been working on starting fast and, while that's a good goal, maybe they should slow things down to beat the Chargers.
The Chargers last game that counted came in the 2009 divisional playoffs against the New York Jets, where they lost 17-14.
The Jets blueprint for that game was to play defense and run the ball well. They did both of those and secured the victory (with an assist from three Nate Kaeding missed field goals).
The Chiefs clearly aren't the Jets when it comes to the defensive side of the ball. However, their offenses I think we could compare. Against the Chargers, the Jets threw the ball 23 times and ran is 39 times. I can easily see a similar ratio for the Chiefs against the Chargers. The Chargers have a potent offense and they say the best defense against a good offense is a solid running game so that way you can keep the ball out of the opposing offense's hands.
The Jets only had about a two and a half minute advantage in time of possession but they were also able to cause a pair of Chargers turnovers. The Chiefs defense has not demonstrated through four preseason games that they can consistently create turnovers so if the Chiefs are going to have a shot at winning I think they need to dominate the time of possession. Creating turnovers may be the biggest key for the Chiefs in this game because I think that's something they'll have to do to win.
The last thing the Chiefs want to get into with the Chargers is a shootout. If the Chiefs are going to win this game, I imagine it's going to be a pretty boring one because they're going to want to run the ball effectively.
Here's the box score from that game. See if there is anything else in there the Jets did that the Chiefs should be able to do.
So, defense + running game = victory. Sounds easy, huh?