Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers Preview and Pick – Point Spread

Kansas City Chiefs (3-7 SU, 5-5 ATS) vs. San Diego Chargers (7-3 SU, 5-5 ATS), 4:00 p.m. EST, Week 12 NFL, Sunday, November 29, 2009, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, Cal. TV: CBS
by Ryno of Predictem.com

Point Spread: Chiefs+13.5/Chargers -13.5
Over/Under: 44.5

After starting the season 1-6, the Kansas City Chiefs have won two games in a row and are at a high point for their season. Not many people expected the Chiefs to upset the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, but they did so, 27-24 in overtime. They will try to make it three in a row against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

The Chiefs went into their bye week with a 1-5 record. After the bye, they lost by just a field goal to the Jacksonville Jaguars, 24-21. With that encouraging result, they won their next game over the Oakland Raiders, 16-10. Then, they were able to pull off an improbable victory over the defending Super Bowl champs. All of this has come without their starting running back and No. 1 wide receiver, as Larry Johnson was cut a few weeks ago and Dwayne Bowe was suspended last week for four games.

In the win over the Steelers, the Chiefs really won the game on defense. They intercepted two of Ben Roethlisberger’s passes and forced a fumble, while the Chiefs only turned the ball over once. Matt Cassel was 15-for-30 for 248 yards and two touchdowns. Jamaal Charles had 17 carries for 58 yards. Chris Chambers has been a big pickup for the Chiefs at wide receiver. He has been effective in all three games he played for Kansas City thus far and has been one of the main reasons for their success over the last three weeks. Stepping in for Bowe as the No. 1 receiver, he had four receptions against the Steelers for 119 yards.

For the season, Cassel has 1,720 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. Charles has 313 rushing yards and one touchdown. In three games, Chambers has 10 receptions for 249 yards and two touchdowns.

The Chargers are one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now, having won five straight after starting the season 2-3. And the last three of those wins have been over solid teams - the Giants, Eagles and Broncos.

The win last week over the Broncos was a blowout win on the road, 32-3. The Chargers forced three turnovers and committed no turnovers of their own. They ran for 203 yards, including 73 and a touchdown by LaDainian Tomlinson. Philip Rivers was 17-for-22 for 145 yards and a touchdown.

One of the biggest reasons for the Chargers’ offensive success this season has been the emergence of Vincent Jackson as one of the top receivers in the league. He has 47 receptions for 788 yards and seven touchdowns. Antonio Gates has been very good as well with 52 receptions for 709 yards and two touchdowns. Tomlinson started the season off slow as he was battling an injury, but he has been very good lately and now has a total of 458 yards and six touchdowns. He has 169 yards and three touchdowns in the last two games. Rivers has 2,621 yards, 17 touchdowns and six interceptions.

The Chargers are 14-7 ATS and 16-5 SU in their last 21 home games. They are 4-1 ATS in their last five games. The Chiefs are 5-1 ATS in their last six games and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games.

Ryno’s Pick: This game features two teams that are playing their best football of the season right now. It will likely come down to turnovers. The Chargers are definitely the much better team in this matchup, but the Chiefs are playing well enough right now that they can certainly win this divisional matchup. Whichever team forces more turnovers will likely win the game. It is especially important for the Chiefs to win the turnover battle because their offense isn’t nearly as strong as the Chargers offense. If the Chargers turn the ball over a few times, they can still rebound with their strong passing attack. The Chiefs defensive backs have not played very well this season. They have to avoid giving up the long passes from Rivers to Jackson and Gates. Even though this game is in San Diego, this is a divisional game and the Chiefs know the Chargers well. The Chiefs will keep it close and may even win the game. Take the Chiefs +13.5.