Must win this week

With the Chargers below .500, they need a victory against division rival Kansas City to ensure they remain in the hunt. A loss this week would be equivalent to losing two games within the AFC West.

The Chiefs are coming to town on Sunday - not that it matters to the Chargers.

That's not to say the 3-4 Chargers aren't aware of the importance of the upcoming AFC West battle. If they are going to reach the playoffs, tie-breakers won against divisional rivals might push them toward the postseason.

But in a sense, it doesn't matter that it's the Chiefs. The Chargers know they have to win - regardless of the opponent - because they've dug themselves a bit of a hole after letting Sunday's game slip away in Philadelphia.

That's not to say the Chargers haven't reached for the shovel before. It was after two weeks and two losses that opened the season that the Chargers were throwing dirt from their grave.

"This is as close to a must-win as we've had since we were 0-2," quarterback Drew Brees said of Sunday's game.

The Chargers picked themselves off the mat that time, defeating the Giants with 45 points, their biggest scoring output in years. Then came a win over the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots, and the Chargers were on a roll.

But they got rocked by the Steelers and Eagles, sandwiched between a conquest of the Raiders.

So after losing two of their past three - and matching last year's loss total already - the Chargers know they are walking a tightrope. Especially with their third of five road trips to the Eastern Time Zone waiting in a date with the Jets after playing the Chiefs.

The last time the Chargers were backed up against a concrete slab, they responded. To their regret, they have to do it all over again on Sunday.


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