On the road again

The road has been a friendly place to the Chargers. They have gone into tough venues and pulled out some convincing wins and just missed by narrow margins in other circumstances.

Do the Chargers have one more streak-busting game in their bag of tricks?

They head to Kansas City Saturday for an oh-so-critical AFC West game with the Chiefs. The 9-5 Chargers, trying desperately to keep their playoff hopes alive, must conquer their third significant streak of the season if wanting to do just that.

In October, the Chargers brushed aside the world champion New England Patriots' 21-game home winning streak, prevailing 41-17.

Last Sunday, they derailed the Indianapolis Colts' 13-game winning streak, which also put to rest their 12-game home winning streak.

Now the Chiefs are on the platter, and they boast of a 17-game winning streak in December games at rowdy Arrowhead Stadium.

"Kansas City is a tough place to play in and it has nothing to do with the weather," said Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer, a former Chiefs coach. "It's the fans.

"That place is crazy and it's a good crazy if you're Kansas City."

But one would have to be nuts not to like the Chargers' chances, although they are a slight underdog. They conquered not only the undefeated Colts last week, but that noise which ricochets around the RCA Dome as well. Sure, they had two false starts, but that's almost acceptable in the din of the RCA Dome.

So they head to Arrowhead not only with the confidence of winning six of their past seven, but knowing they can go into any hostile environment -- see New England, see Washington, see Indianapolis -- and come out with a win.

Really, if the Chargers don't make the playoffs, it will be because of their troubles at home instead of their road woes. They have a very mediocre 4-3 mark at Qualcomm Stadium, this after going 7-1 there last year on their way to their first AFC West title since 1994.

To run their current winning streak to two, the Chargers' top-ranked defense must do what the entire team has been doing -- break a streak. Chiefs running back Larry Johnson has rushed for 100 yards in seven straight games.

But the Chiefs will be trying to end their own streak of losing two straight. That's a streak the Chargers would prefer to keep intact. To do so, they have to take care of their business and hope they get help over the final two weekends to sneak into the playoffs despite being among the AFC tops teams.

"All we can do is keep winning, that alone is all we can do," said LaDainian Tomlinson. "Yeah, we're depending on other teams. But we got to keep winning, starting with this week which is going to be tough."

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