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Arrowheadlines: The odds of the Chiefs beating the Chargers

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Chiefs welcome back CB Marcus Peters for big matchup against Chargers | ESPN

The Chiefs have a decision about which one of their cornerbacks loses his playing time because of Peters’ return. Darrelle Revis, Terrance Mitchell and Steven Nelson played well against Oakland. Mitchell would seem to be the most likely candidate to be benched. The Chiefs recently signed Revis to help in pass coverage, while Nelson is their best slot cornerback.

Chiefs working on getting running game back on track | The Kansas City Star

But players and coaches say there were multiple factors that led to the improved rushing attack against Oakland. One was the simplification of some of the running schemes, as Heck scrapped some of the more difficult blocks they’d been asking their offensive linemen to make since they had switched things up at the bye week in early November.

“It is hard enough to run the ball in this league, let alone when you are tentative, right?” quarterback Alex Smith said. “Everybody being locked in, knowing what we are doing, how we are doing it and then rolling off the ball (is important).”

Cornerback Hayward misses practice, but the Chargers believe he'll play against Chiefs on Saturday | LA Times

“He had more soreness in his calf, and it kind of worked its way down to his Achilles, so we held him out,” coach Anthony Lynn said. “There’s always a concern, but we’re hopeful he can play.”

The Los Angeles Chargers have a 53.2% chance of beating the Kansas City Chiefs | Bolts From The Blue

If they’re good, they’ll probably win by 4 points or more. If they’re bad, they could lose by 4 points or more. Based on everything she’s seen on paper and on film over the last month, her model says there’s a 53.2% chance the good Chargers show up and the Bolts end up all alone atop the division come Sunday morning.

Underappreciated Albert Wilson is glue of Chiefs' offense | The Kansas City Star

But there also is a more subtle and under-appreciated aspect to this: fourth-year receiver Albert Wilson, who had five catches for 72 yards against the Raiders that included a spectacular toe-tapping 36-yarder on the sideline and a crucial third-down conversion late in the game.

“To make that catch, shrug that tackle and get the first, he’s had so many plays like that,” Smith said. “Those plays end up winning games.”

Chiefs center Mitch Morse to miss game against Chargers | The Kansas City Star

Morse, who is recovering from a foot injury, was the only player listed as out on the team’s injury report released on Thursday.

KC Chiefs to wear all-red uniforms Saturday night vs. Los Angeles Chargers | Arrowhead Pride

The Kansas City Chiefs will wear the fan-friendly all-red uniforms for Saturday night’s home game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Arrowhead Pride has learned.

Chiefs-Chargers game on Saturday should be close | The Kansas City Star

Four of the last seven Chiefs-Chargers games at Arrowhead have gone down to a possession in the final minute or overtime, five have been decided by a touchdown or less and the average margin of victory has been 7.9 points.

Chiefs OC Matt Nagy is making minor changes for huge results | Arrowhead Pride

I’ve written about Nagy and his usage of RPOs (plays with both a run and at least one pass concept built into the play) recently. I theorized that Nagy was calling plays in the second half of the Bills game because of the heavy usage of the concept. The Chiefs ran 17 RPOs combined in the second half of the Bills and the entire Jets game. They ran 10 total in the previous five weeks.

The trend continued in a huge way against the Raiders. Including the ineligible man downfield call, they ran 24.

Los Angeles Chargers look to break 7-game losing streak to Chiefs | ESPN

The Chiefs have won seven straight games against the Chargers, one shy of matching the team’s longest win streak over the Chargers franchise (eight in a row from 1990-93).

Underappreciated Albert Wilson is glue of Chiefs' offense | The Kansas City Star

But there also is a more subtle and under-appreciated aspect to this: fourth-year receiver Albert Wilson, who had five catches for 72 yards against the Raiders that included a spectacular toe-tapping 36-yarder on the sideline and a crucial third-down conversion late in the game.

“To make that catch, shrug that tackle and get the first, he’s had so many plays like that,” Smith said. “Those plays end up winning games.”

Chiefs-Chargers rematch carries unlikely big stakes | ESPN

“This is about as big as it gets for a regular-season game," quarterback Alex Smith said. “Division opponent, tied for first, only a couple games left. The ramifications are huge. It doesn’t get any bigger than this."

5 reasons K.C. Chiefs will beat L.A. Chargers* | The San Diego Union-Tribune

Alex Smith. Gone are the days when Team Spanos could count on the Chiefs to field a quarterback who was vastly inferior to Rivers. Smith, who cheered for the Chargers as a boy in San Diego, has stabilized the Chiefs with smart, versatile play since John Dorsey and Reid got him from the San Francisco 49ers in a 2013 trade. However, Smith is having a very streaky season. After leading the Chiefs to a 5-0 record, he fell off, at times appearing to lose confidence. He rallied two games ago with a good showing against the Jets.

5 reasons the L.A. Chargers* will beat the Kansas City Chiefs | The San Diego Union-Tribune

Air control. L.A. has developed a speedy, varied pass defense that has blunted or shut down several opponents. The rush creates pressure without blitzing, and when slot corner Desmond King blitzes, several opponents have failed to block him. Designs that use six defensive backs have become a Chargers* staple. Under new coordinator Gus Bradley, the defense is among the NFL leaders in several categories: second in fewest net yards allowed per pass attempt, third in fewest passing yards allowed and third in interceptions. Getting more pass defenders on the field, Bradley also is using seven backs at once.