1) The Offensive Line
This group has been a focus all year, and the offense rises and falls with the performance up front. LG Ben Grubbs has been out for three weeks now, and we're starting to wonder if he'll be back this season. Jeff Allen has been very solid at LG, and Eric Fisher is playing the best football of his career at LT. The right side is still struggling with LDT and Jah Reid. Reid showed some aggression last week as part of the Chiefs' bullying of the Broncos. The Chargers are not as dynamic on defense as the Broncos, so this should be an opportunity for the big guys to assert themselves on Sunday.
2) Chiefs Defense vs Phillip Rivers
Philip Rivers has traditionally been a huge thorn in the Chiefs side ... well, except for that one time. The Chiefs defense seems to be rounding into form and were able to knock Peyton out last week. Can they at least contain Rivers this week?Rivers may be short-handed this week without Malcom Floyd, and potentially without Antonio Gates, DJ Fluker and Ladarius Green. But the Chiefs struggled against very good QBs early this season losing to Good Peyton Manning, Andy Dalton and Aaron Rodgers. They've gotten back on track against guys like Landry, Stafford and Bad Manning. The pass rush has been key, bringing pressure from everywhere.This will be a good chance for the Chiefs to prove they have really turned the corner and become a dominant defense.
3) The Chiefs Tight Ends
Travis Kelce should be one of the real focus points for the Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense. Most fans would agree that they need to use him more, even though he's on pace for a big year with 45 catches and 574 yards thus far. James O'Shaughnessy just went on IR after showing flashes of being a good receiver. Fellow rookie Brian Parker seems to be getting better each week, especially as a blocker, and he's starting to get a couple of looks in the passing game as well. This group could prove to be a strength going forward for the Chiefs, with four big, developing players.
4) The Chiefs Attitude
The last couple weeks have been dominating victories. Can they avoid a letdown against a team with a worse record? The Broncos game was physical and intense and sometimes games like that can drain a team and lead to a flat performance the following week. If the Chiefs can come out early, set the tone once again, and play with the same urgency they had last week, this should be another big win. Getting to .500, beating a division opponent on the road, and putting themselves squarely in the playoff picture ... there is plenty to play for. Let's see if the team comes out with the fire they need to take advantage of what's in front of them.
What will you be watching for?