Chargers feeling good

The Chargers head to Kansas City with confidence and a sense of history.

The Chiefs (2-3) regularly beat the Chargers (4-1) at Arrowhead Stadium, winning nine of the last 11 meetings in Kansas City.

But on the surface it appears the Chargers should have little trouble with the Chiefs. They have won two straight in an impressive fashion, against the Steelers and 49ers. The Chiefs are reeling after getting pasted by the Steelers, 45-7.

Tomlinson, though, knows better. He's heard the Arrowhead Stadium crowd enough that he's seen how the Chiefs' defense feeds off it and makes it play that much better.

"It is a pretty tough place to play, one of the toughest places I've played in," Tomlinson said. "I think it's the equivalent of Denver to me because (the Chiefs) start fast and the fans are hard to deal with. You can't hear nothing and that adds momentum to their defense and gets them to playing almost incredibly; they don't make many mistakes."

A mistake would be the Chargers overlooking the Chiefs. Often when a team is embarrassed the previous week - as the Chiefs were - it rallies the following week.

"I think these professional players have pride," Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said in the conference call. "No one likes their pride being hurt or being humiliated when you play. "I just think that when that happens you have a sense of a different urgency all of the sudden. Sometimes it takes that. You hate for that to happen, for it to take that, but it happens. It's human nature. I think obviously you don't want to play like that again. Generally teams don't. That doesn't mean you win the next week, but for the most part teams play a lot better the following week."

The Chargers are expecting the Chiefs best shot. There are too many things on the table - it's a divisional home game, they got beat up last week, Marty Schottenheimer is coming back - for the Chiefs to be flat.

The Chargers know that. And they have been preparing all week accordingly.

Chiefs:

If Larry Johnson is getting frustrated by his lack of rushing production, he's holding it well in check.

Limited to just 62 yards on 31 rushes in his last two games, the last of them a 45-7 kicking at the hands of Pittsburgh, Johnson is light years away from the 1,750 yards he amassed in nine games as a full-time player a year ago.

But Johnson, hardly a patient player in his first 2 1/2 seasons as the backup for Priest Holmes, understands that he's a marked man in a Chiefs offense. Especially after the Week One loss of quarterback Trent Green made the Chiefs essentially a one-dimensional offense.

"It's tough losing your starting quarterback," Johnson said this week. "That doesn't make the pressure on you any less. (Opponents) know we're going to try to run the football. But it's hard to do that when you're down 21 or 14-0 in the first or second quarter (as the Chiefs have been in their last two games). You have to fight and scratch to get 14 points and you can't do it by running the football."

It didn't help, either, that Johnson went into the season with two premium members of his blocking unit -- left tackle Willie Roaf (to retirement) and fullback Tony Richardson to free agency. He lost his quarterback in Week 1, then lost his fullback last week when Ronnie Cruz went down with a season-ending knee injury.

Put it all together and it's not surprising to see stacked eight-man defensive fronts limiting Johnson to only 357 yards on 105 carries, a 3.4-yard average.


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