First Look: Chargers vs. Chiefs

It's a term that haunts sports fans all over the country-‘Wait till next year.' Chiefs' fans must deal with the fact since Kansas City has no shot at making the post season this year. The best they can finish this year is 9-7. That won't be good enough to get into the playoffs as the Chargers come to town on Sunday ready and aimed at putting an exclamation mark on the Chiefs season.

Kansas City on the short week will play San Diego this Sunday at Arrowhead in hopes of spoiling the Chargers quest for an AFC West title. The Chiefs and Chargers have not seen each other at all this season. San Diego is currently sitting at 7-3 and tied for the lead in the AFC West with Denver.

San Diego's offense this season has come to life, unlike in years past. Drew Brees is playing at high level thanks to the fact he knows that he'll be an unrestricted free agent at years end. The former Purdue Boilermaker us in a lame-duck season and excelling despite the fact the team has former Phillip Rivers waiting in the wings.

During his collegiate playing days at the Boilermaker helm, Brees was a Heisman Trophy candidate in 1999 and 2000. Brees also broke almost every major passing record at Purdue and in the Big Ten throwing almost 12,000 yards, 90 touchdown passes, and a completion percentage of .611.

"A mature quarterback and he's experienced." Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil said, "He's executing real well. They drafted a number one with not high hopes for Brees. Everybody was sort of down on him. The patience and good coaching – a young Brian Schottenheimer coaches him – and he's matured."

This season Brees has already thrown 19 touchdown passes and amassed 2,080 yards to only three interceptions. He also has been pretty good on his feet as well rushing for 52 yards and two scores.

One of the reasons for Brees' success has been the acquisition of wide receiver Keenan McCardell. Since the trade deadline McCardell has 300 yards and one touchdown catch. Brees and McCardell had a key 20-yard connection on third down late in the game against the Oakland Raiders last Sunday that sealed the victory.

"The play that he made on third-and-4—; I think if you asked him how he did it, he couldn't tell you. Because I've looked at it over and over again, and I don't know how he did it. They had one more guy coming than we had set up in protection." Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer, "We were looking to get the ball out of our hand quick. They covered that guy, and the second guy was covered as well. I don't know how he ever found (McCardell). I really don't. But it's the kind of play that you expect your quarterback to make if you're going to win games."

Sunday's game will also mark the return of Schottenheimer, who coached the Chiefs for many seasons. He helped bring the Chiefs back to prominence in the 90's including helping his team 1995 to the leagues best record at 13-3. Still Schottenheimer remains winless as a head coach on the other side of the field at Arrowhead.

"It's a tough place to play because of the crowd and the fans and, of course, they're a good football team." Schottenheimer said, "I don't know how many years it has been since the Chargers have won up there, so it's going to be tough. Let's hope that we play far better than we played yesterday, and that the football Gods smile upon us once again. And maybe we can steal one up there."


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