The Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers are meeting at Qualcomm Stadium this afternoon and KC has several keys to the game if they want to make this competitive. The Chiefs aren't a hard team to figure out -- run the ball, play good defense and don't turn it over. That's who they are so, with that in mind, here are my top three keys to the game for the Chiefs.
Let's get off to a fast start today. We talked about this yesterday and it might be the most important part of all this. The Chiefs can play a solid game on Sunday but if they don't get off to a fast start, they won't win. They just won't. They're not a team that plays from behind very well and the Chargers are too good to let the Chiefs come back. A fast start means scoring the first touchdown and playing some defense. A fast start could even mean a 0-0 first quarter. The Chiefs just can't enter the second quarter down two scores because then you start changing your game plan, changing what you worked on all week. The Chiefs need to take the ball at the coin toss and move the ball down the field.
Do what you do on offense. The Chiefs passing game won't win this by themselves. It's not their style. Even without RB Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs need to get the running game going. That will do a couple of things for them. First, it'll give the Chiefs some semblance of control in this game, allowing them to keep the game going at their own pace. Second, it opens up the play-action pass for QB Matt Cassel because that's really when the passing game is the most effective. Running the ball does so much for the Chiefs and at the end of the day that's who they are. They're a run-first team and, if that's who they are, they need to do it well.
Avoid turnovers. I said above that getting off to a fast start might be the most important key to the game. I take that back -- not turning the ball over is the No. 1 focal point for the Chiefs today. Easily No. 1, considering they're last in the league in turnover differential. The Chiefs weren't going to beat the Bills or Lions regardless but the insane amount of turnovers in those games -- and at the most inopportune times and places -- gave them zero chance of even competing. My not-so-bold prediction: the only way the Chiefs win today is by dominating the turnover battle.