We are inching closer to game day for the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers. To learn more about the 2014 version of the Chargers I spoke with John Gennaro of Bolts From The Blue, which is SB Nation's excellent Chargers blog. Even thought they are the enemy, it's a great blog to catch up on the enemy.
I asked John five questions about the Chargers and this weekend's game. As you'll read, they are liking CB Brandon Flowers and first round pick CB Jason Verrett who are both new additions this year. Check out Bolts From The Blue for my answers to John's question.
1. Who is one player on the Chargers offense we don't know but should?
BFTB: The Chargers have this WR named Eddie Royal ....no, not THAT Eddie Royal. It's not the guy that was mediocre for the Broncos for years and made his name on kick and punt returns. This is an entirely different Eddie Royal, I'm convinced.This Eddie Royal is a terrifying offensive weapon on the same level as Percy Harvin. He's caught five touchdowns in the last four games! He's averaging 14.8 yards per catch, which is higher than any season put up by that OTHER Eddie Royal. He's a deep threat, a medium threat, and a threat to catch a ball at the line of scrimmage and run it a long way.
I don't know where they found this guy, but he's an unbelievable playmaker and should be feared by the KC Chiefs.
2. Who is one player on the Chargers defense we don't know but should?
It's almost unfair to call CB Jason Verrett, first round pick for the San Diego Chargers this season, a "star in the making" because he's already a star. In every game he has played in, he has made a huge impact, including making the game-winning interception in the final minute's of Sunday's 31-28 win over the Raiders. The biggest difference between last year's team and this year's Chargers is that the secondary went from atrocious to above-average with the additions of Brandon Flowers and Verrett.
3. What is the best explanation as to why the Chargers are 5-1 right now?
Good coaching and poor competition. Wins against the Bills, Jags, Jets, and Raiders aren't much to brag about. However, outside of a very even game against a very impressive 4-1 Cardinals team, the Chargers haven't lost. They even beat up on the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. As the schedule gets more difficult, the coaching will be tested further, but in all three phases of the game San Diego does an excellent job of avoiding mistakes and taking advantage of opportunities.
4. What is one thing that concerns you on the Chiefs offense and defense?
San Diego may be talented, but they're still thin. Injuries have only made them thinner, especially on the offensive and defensive lines. If the Chiefs can push around the Chargers' front-seven, and beat up on San Diego's offensive line, the way the Raiders did, it will be hard for Mike McCoy's team to walk away with a win. The Chiefs certainly have the talent on their lines to make that happen, too.
5. What's your prediction for the game?
I've been saying it for about a year now, but the Chargers are well set up right now. If their Plan A doesn't work, Plan B is always to let Philip Rivers try to score as many points as possible. I see many of the divisional games going much the same way as last week's SD-OAK game, a close game that's won in the final minutes, and I think this one is no exception. I can only envision one of two game-ending scenarios:
1) Seyi Ajirotutu catches a 26-yard TD pass with less than 30 seconds left in the game to give the Chargers a 3-point win.
2) Ryan Succop misses a 41-yard FG attempt with less than 10 seconds left of a tie game and the Chargers get a 3-point win in Overtime.