Hester will get his third consecutive start in place of Mike Tolbert, who didn't practice this week due to a shoulder injury. Hester has excelled with the ball in his hands -- over the last two games, he's run eight times for 46 yards and caught four passes for 32 yards -- but he still struggles to make the correct reads as a lead blocker.
The Chiefs love to keep Pollard near the line of scrimmage and send him on a variety of blitzes, against both the run and the pass. Hester must identify Pollard and prevent him from blowing up plays in the backfield. Pollard enjoyed a monster game against the Chargers in Week 10, finishing with 10 tackles and an interception.
When the Chargers Pass: WR Chris Chambers vs. CB Brandon Flowers
WR Chris Chambers
Chambers will be pitted against rookie sensation Flowers, whom the Chargers passed up in the first round of this year's draft in favor of CB Antoine Cason. Flowers is an aggressive defender with a knack for making plays on the ball. He missed the first game against the Chargers earlier this season with a hamstring injury and will look to make up for lost time in the rematch at Arrowhead Stadium.
When the Chiefs Run: DE Igor Olshansky vs. OT Branden Albert
Olshansky enters his final three games as a Charger after playing out his welcome with a disappointing performance this season. He's been held to one or zero tackles in five games already this season and is averaging a career-low two tackles per game. The Chargers must hope Olshansky shows up in Kansas City, as he'll be opposing massive rookie tackle Albert.
Albert as paved the way for a running game that ranks in the top half of the league with an average of more than 115 yards per game, despite the numerous injuries the Chiefs have dealt with on offense. As Warpaint Illustrated publisher Nick Athan pointed out in this week's Behind Enemy Lines, NFL experts are deeming Albert the best rookie lineman from this year's draft class. If Olshansky doesn't rise to the occasion, the Chiefs could have a field day running to the left side.
When the Chiefs Pass: SS Steve Gregory vs. TE Tony Gonzalez
SS Steve Gregory
The Chargers will try to slow Gonzalez by double-covering him with help from Stephen Cooper, Cason, Quentin Jammer and others. Nonetheless, the Chargers ganged up on Gonzalez in Week 10, as well, and he still finished with 10 catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns.
Just for Kicks: K Connor Barth vs. K Nate Kaeding
The Chargers and Chiefs have played in 11 one-point games, which is more than any two teams in league history. With so many close contests, the outcome is often decided on special teams. That was certainly the case in the last meeting, when the Chiefs botched an extra point before dropping a 20-19 decision.
Sunday's matchup will feature two of the NFL's most accurate kickers. Chiefs PK Barth has been perfect this season, connecting on all nine field goal attempts and all 17 extra points. Kaeding has been exceptional, as well, and is converting at least 80 percent of his field goals for the fifth time in as many seasons. Whichever kicker blinks first on Sunday will likely retreat to the losing locker room.
Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003.