Sunday walkthrough: Chiefs at Chargers

Sunday will mark the 90th regular-season meeting between the Chargers and Chiefs. The Chargers swept the season series last year, 34-31 on a late Nate Kaeding field goal last year in Arrowhead and 24-17 last January in Qualcomm with the Bolts playing mostly reserves.

2005 RANKINGS: Chiefs: offense 9th (6th rush, 15th pass); defense 27th (8th rush, 30th pass). Chargers: offense 14th (9th rush, 19th pass); defense 21st (2nd rush, 29th pass)

PREDICTION: Chargers 28-27

KEYS TO THE GAME: Look for the Chiefs to copy the blueprint Philadelphia laid out last weekend by stacking the line of scrimmage against Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson and daring QB Drew Brees to push the ball downfield. San Diego needs a better push from its offensive line, but it also needs Brees to take advantage of a Chiefs defense allowing 263.7 passing yards per game. San Diego knows it has to put some points on the board because its own secondary is yielding an average of 247.7 passing yards. However, the real battle will come when Chiefs RBs Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson butt heads with the league's No. 2 run defense. Kansas City's success in the passing game is predicated on the ability of Holmes and Johnson to set up the play-action.

Chargers: Their four losses have been by a combined 12 points and they have not lost by more than four points in their past 21 games. ... Swept the season series last year by a combined sore of 58-48.

Chiefs: Lead the series 47-41. ... Have forced a league-high 19 fumbles.

Chargers:

CB Drayton Florence will miss this week's game and hopes to be back next week for the Jets. Sammy Davis figures to get the starting nod.

C Nick Hardwick (ankle) didn't practice and is listed as questionable. It appears he won't go for the second straight week, leaving Bob Hallen to fill in.

OLB Steve Foley (abdominal) didn't practice, and will be a gametime decision on Sunday. He has admitted that the pain is catching up with him and would be replaced by Shaun Phillips if he cannot go.

TE Ryan Krause (foot) didn't work and won't play.

RB Darren Sproles will return punts after being replaced by Eric Parker last week.

ILB Randall Godfrey (neck) didn't practice in the team portion Thursday and is questionable. He will play. He was hurt when body-slamming Donovan McNabb on Sunday, a hit that resulted in a $5,000 fine.

Chiefs:

DT Junior Siavii, a relatively untested and raw defensive lineman who has yet to live up to his billing as Kansas City's top draft pick in 2004, could get extra work in San Diego if starting DT John Browning is unable to play.

DT Jimmy Wilkerson, a transplanted defensive end, could also figure prominently in the defensive tackle rotation depending on the status of Browning.

WR Samie Parker, the Chiefs starting X receiver, will miss the San Diego game, his second straight, with a sprained MCL.

CB Dexter McCleon is very doubtful for the San Diego game with a groin strain. After also missing last week's game in Miami, McCleon hopes to be working again next week.

S Jerome Woods, a veteran backup, did very limited work Thursday and appears on the doubtful side of questionable for San Diego. Fellow backup William Bartee would inherit most of his snaps as a reserve.

T Kevin Sampson probably will be inactive again in San Diego as he has not fully recovered his playing strength after being hospitalized for complications of dehydration during the Chiefs bye week three weeks ago. Jordan Black continues to start at right tackle, where Sampson was expected to start, and veteran reserve John Welbourn is backing him up.


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