The San Diego Chargers are still mathematically alive in the playoff race, but they do not control their own destiny. A win this week against the Kansas City Chiefs, however, would go a long way towards helping their postseason cause.
Following the Patriots romp over the Jets on Monday night, Jets Head Coach repeatedly stated some derivation of, “We got our butts kicked.” “…we got outcoached, outplayed, got our butts kicked. “I mean, clearly, we got our butts kicked.” “They kicked our butts.” The same could have been said by Chargers’ Head Coach, Norv Turner. Well, really, anyone on the team could have said it. The Oakland Raiders kicked the butts of the San Diego Chargers by running all over their defense with power (Michael Bush) and speed (Darren McFadden), confusing their defense (and the cameramen) with bootleg plays and play-action passes, and consistently interrupting the flow of their offense. What seemed like a sure victory after a complete win at Indianapolis suddenly became a butt-kicking, which brings us to…
“PLAYOFFS? DON’T TALK ABOUT PLAYOFFS!!!”
Another person Norv Turner could have easily quoted is Jim Mora, and his famous rant following another Colts loss in 2001. The Chargers need to focus on improving and winning every game, and then let the Playoff picture work itself out.
At this point, it’s this simple. For the Chargers to win the division:
1. Chargers have to win every game.
2. Chiefs have to lose to the Chargers this week and to 1 other team
3. Raiders have to lose one more
Lots can change each week. The Chiefs appear to have the best chance to win their 3 games after this week’s game against the Chargers with games at St. Louis, and then home against the Titans and the Raiders. Oakland plays at Jacksonville, home against Denver and Indianapolis, and then at Kansas City.
Matt Cassel, who has been on a quiet tear in recent weeks, is likely to miss at least two weeks due to appendectomy. Brodie Croyle, the former Alabama QB, took the first-team snaps at practice. This could be a blessing or a curse. Sure, it’s likely to change some of the things the Chiefs can do with Dwayne Bowe and Tony Moeaki down field, but it also likely means an increased focus on the running game. Norv acknowledges as much, “I would expect them to run the ball, particularly after watching our game against the Raiders, I expect them to run a lot." Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles ran all over Denver last week for over 240 yards. It will be interesting to watch the battle up front and how the speed and power of Kansas City can be neutralized.
WILL THE CHARGERS WIN THE DIVISION?
It’s easy to see the Raiders losing any of their remaining games, but which team will hand the Chiefs another loss: Rams, Titans, Raiders?
Will the Bolts even win the rest of their games?
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