STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL:
RB Priest Holmes' 15 rushing TD are more than all but one entire team in the NFL this year. Only Philadelphia has as many rushing TDs as Holmes.
WR Marc Boerigter, whose second NFL season has been a disappointment after catching only eight balls in 11 games, had the biggest day of his short career against San Diego a year ago in the Chiefs win over the Chargers at Arrowhead. He caught five passes for 144 yards with an NFL-record tying reception of 99 yards.
DE Vonnie Holliday had his biggest day of his first season with Kansas City in the Chiefs season-opening win over the Chargers. He had three sacks among his six tackles. Holliday has had only 2.5 sacks in the 10 games since then.
LB Mike Maslowski did not practice Wednesday, and Vermeil described his starting MLB as being on the doubtful side of questionable for the Chargers.
The Chargers young secondary has been especially vulnerable in recent weeks, so look for the Chiefs to test corners Quentin Jammer and rookie Sammy Davis early. Rookie safety Terrence Kiel will be kept busy defending Priest Holmes as the eighth man in the box, so the Chiefs should get some one-on-one opportunities on the outside. Defensively, the Chiefs would love to do the job they did on LaDanian Tomlinson, who was held to 34 yards in the season-opening game at Arrowhead. KC jumped out to a 24-0 first half lead then and eviscerated San Diego's offensive game plan. They'd love to do the same thing this week at Qualcomm.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
Chargers receivers David Boston and Reche Caldwell vs. Chiefs corners Dexter McCleon and Eric Warfield. McCleon at 5-foot-10 gives up a lot to size to the physically imposing Boston, but his cover skills should make up the deficit. Warfield has been burned for two TDs bombs (to Peter Warrick and Jerry Rice) in his past two games, so Doug Flutie will look for opportunities there.
Chiefs WRs Eddie Kennison, Johnnie Morton and Marc Boerigter vs. Chargers corners Quentin Jammer, Sammy Davis and Drayton Florence. Age (as in Morton and Kennison) vs. youth. Give the older guys the edge here.
Starting LB Mike Maslowski (questionable, knee) did not practice Wednesday, and Dick Vermeil was not as confident as he was earlier in the week that Maz could play after missing the Oakland game.
LB Scott Fujita (questionable, shoulder) should be able to go after practicing Wednesday.
G Brian Waters (questionable, shoulder) missed two practices last week before the Raiders and still convinced coaches that he should play, which he did. He practiced Wednesday and will be ready for the Chargers.