Chargers at Chiefs walkthrough

This is the 93rd meeting between the Chargers and Chiefs. The Kansas City Chiefs lead the series, 48-43-1, and won nine of the last 11 meetings at Arrowhead Stadium.

These teams usually play close games as 10 of the contests have been decided by one point -- the most of any series in the league since 1960. While these two AFL rivals have a long history, they've met but once in the playoffs when the Chargers prevailed, 17-0, in the 1992 AFC Wildcard game.

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 10/22/06
SURFACE: Grass
TV: CBS, Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon

2006 RANKINGS: Chargers: offense 3rd (2nd rush, 14th pass); defense 1st (3rd rush, 2nd pass). Chiefs: offense 26th (25th rush, 25th pass); defense 11th (24th rush, 4th pass)

PREDICTION: Chargers 30-17

KEYS TO THE GAME:

Chiefs RB Larry Johnson might believe he can be successful without a fullback, but he certainly needs more help from his passing game. The Chargers allow only 71.6 rushing yards per game and will stack the box in an effort to shut down Johnson until Chiefs QB Damon Huard proves he can hurt them downfield. Huard has thrown just one interception in 136 pass attempts, but the majority of those have been of the safe variety and haven't moved safeties off run support.

With FB Ronnie Cruz out for the season TE Kris Wilson will be worked into the H-back role, but Johnson said he'll also be fine working without a lead blocker.

San Diego coach Marty Schottenheimer is often criticized for his conservative play calling, but he is clearly gaining confidence in first-year starting QB Philip Rivers.

With defenses overplaying the run against RB LaDainian Tomlinson, Rivers is increasingly making them pay with TE Antonio Gates and WR Keenan McCardell becoming more involved in the offense the past two weeks.

FAST FACTS: Chargers: K Nate Kaeding has tied Rolf Benirsche's franchise record with 87 consecutive extra points made. ... Have the NFL's second-best point differential at plus-96. Chiefs: Have won the past six meetings at home. ... QB Damon Huard is 4-0 in his career at home as a starter.

Chargers:

--LT Marcus McNeill went through the entire workout Thursday and is a go for Sunday. He had surgery this week to repair his broken right hand; he had a similar operation during the preseason for his left hand.

--RT Shane Olivea was able to practice and is set for Sunday. Olivea suffered a sprained knee Sunday, and at first it looked serious. But he's bounced back and is fit for the Chiefs.

--WR Vincent Jackson has a strained adductor (groin area) and didn't work. His track record shows he's seldom a quick healer, so he could be down this week.

--WR Greg Camarillo felt a twinge in his knee and was pulled from practice.

--S Bhawoh Jue (knee) still isn't able to do all the drills. He's listed as questionable; we put him as doubtful for Sunday.

Chiefs:

--QB Trent Green has added some light throwing to the cardio work he is doing, but he's still not ready to begin practicing after sustaining a severe concussion in Week One. The Chiefs still have no timetable on when Green might be able to return to practice.

--T John Welbourn, who chose to retire rather than face a six-game league suspension at the start of the season, has changed his mind and will begin working with the Chiefs on Monday, Oct. 23. The Chiefs will watch Welbourn practice for two weeks under a commissioner's exemption before they must decide whether to activate him to the roster, one that needs help at tackle.

--T Kyle Turley worked out again Thursday, but coach Herm Edwards says the starting left tackle in the season's first two games isn't ready to start and take a full turn after missing the past three games with a back injury.

--WR/KR Dante Hall, who missed the Pittsburgh loss with a hip injury despite contending that he was ready to play, has taken a full turn in practices this week and was taken off the injury list.


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