Thanks to Richard over at SB Nation’s Chargers blog, Bolts From The Blue, for answering my Chiefs-Chargers questions. Our Q&A is below.
1. Plenty has changed. What's new about the Chargers this year?
BFTB: What's new is old. Ken Whisenhunt returns as offensive coordinator and will theoretically return the offense to its 2013 form. Melvin Gordon looks like a different player through camp and preseason. Perhaps he's ready to play like a first round pick. They've also added speed on offense with Travis Benjamin and a legitimate nose tackle on defense with Brandon Mebane. Both add dimensions to their side of the ball that simply did not exist last year.
2. If you're the Chiefs, where are you attacking the Chargers defense?
BFTB: You attack the Chargers defense either by running at Darius Philon (who is starting in place of Joey Bosa) or by challenging the safeties. Dwight Lowery and Jahleel Addae are the clearest weak links on a very average defensive unit. Both are consistently late in coverage and Addae, in particular, frequently tries to make a big hit instead of wrapping up.
3. If you're the Chiefs, where are you attacking the Chargers offense?
BFTB: Against the Chargers offense, I'm sending A-gap pressure until they prove they can handle it. The addition of Matt Slauson may have fixed that weakness, but Orlando Franklin and D.J. Fluker are still playing guard, so if I'm the Chiefs I'm going to test the interior of that line. No quarterback likes dealing with pressure up the middle, and that's especially true of Philip Rivers.
4. Keenan Allen can be a problem. Any chance he suddenly sucks?
BFTB: Keenan Allen is the reason we Chargers fans have hope going into this game. He's the best skill position player that Rivers has at his disposal and he hasn't been available the last three times the Chargers faced the Chiefs. He could be the difference maker.
5. What's your prediction for the game?
BFTB: All that said, the Chiefs are the better team on paper, and until the games count, that's what I have to go on. Chiefs 31-10.