San Diego Chargers Scouting Report: Kansas City Chiefs


Despite the San Diego Chargers going 8-4 in 2014 in their first 12 games, the Kansas City Chiefs, a team that stood at 7-5 at that same time, attained the same exact record as the Chargers (9-7) and missed the playoffs.

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The difference between the Chiefs and Chargers was that the Chargers had a better chance of winning the AFC West, but floundered it away in the last week of the season against none other than the Kansas City Chiefs. Alas, a new year and new season are upon us as the Chargers will be looking to once again claim two AFC West wins against the Chiefs on November 22nd and December 13th.

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Overall, the Chiefs did not lose that many important pieces this offseason and will produce probably similar results in 2015 if their players can replicate their previous year’s performances.

The Chiefs biggest offseason signing would have to have been in the form of Philadelphia Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin. Even though the Chiefs probably won’t throw more than the 464 times they did last season, Maclin is still going to help out this anemic receiving corps that is in desperate need of an elite threat.

The biggest part of the Chiefs offense though is seventh-year running back Jamaal Charles. With 6,856 yards and 38 touchdowns rushing on 1,249 attempts (5.5 yards per carry) and 2,266 yards and 19 touchdowns receiving on 262 receptions, Charles has been as elusive as they come in the NFL with outstanding yards per carry ratios season after season. Considering that none of Alex Smith’s 18 touchdowns were caught by receivers, I foresee an increased passing game in 2015, but not by much. Charles will remain a huge focal point, as expected.

Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis could potentially rip San Diego’s run defense to shreds if the Chiefs offensive line can make some holes. In San Diego’s week 11 and 14 games against KC, the front seven are going to be challenged. The men I expect should step up will be LBs Malcom Butler and Manti Te’o who are consistent in run coverage.

Last season the Chargers had mixed results shutting down Charles and the Chiefs running game as KC went for big games of 111 and 154 yards with a touchdown on a 16-yard Jamaal Charles run.

Dec 28, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) is tackled by San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu (97) and defensive back Jahleel Addae (37) during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 28, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) is tackled by San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu (97) and defensive back Jahleel Addae (37) during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

Both should clog up holes and potential running lanes for Charles who thrives in open space. If the Bolts shut him down, they shut down the Kansas City offense.

In KC losses last season, Charles rushed for a meager 48.3 yards per game as compared to 77.2 when they won. That means that Charles’ performances were pretty related to Chiefs wins if he rushed for nearly 30 yards less when they lost.

Tight end Travis Kelce is my early pick for fantasy TE of the year and could be the Chief’s secret weapon in this game when Maclin draws attention.

I expect Weddle to cover him with perhaps Jerry Attaochu or even Melvin Ingram supporting in zone coverage. I trust SD’s corners to play man-to-man against the Chiefs receiving corps with the occasional double coverage on Maclin in passing situations. The Bolts should be able to hold KC to about 20, but the key is to score themselves and keep the ball away from their run-heavy, time-managing offense. As they say, “the best defense is a good offense.” Right?

Going off the theme “the best defense is a good offense,” the truly best defense is well—an amazing defense. With that said, the Chiefs have two of the most fearsome pass rushers in the league in Justin Houston and Tamba Hali who combined for 28 sacks in 2014 with 127 tackles and eight tackles for loss. Other than those two though, the Chiefs really don’t have any talent in their defensive front seven.

Dontari Poe is another force on the defense, however he has been experiencing injuries in recent years and is not always guaranteed to start healthy later on in the season, even if he is medically cleared to play.

According to, “It was announced earlier this week that Pro Bowl nose tackle, Dontari Poe, had received back surgery to remove a herniated disk and would miss both training camp, pre-season, and part of the regular season. Head Coach Andy Reid was optimistic that Poe should be able to return in the early part of the season.”

Even without a good defensive line, I can predict an excellent performance from the KC secondary which is perhaps the most underrated in the league with Sean Smith (who will be coming back from a three-game suspension after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy) and Eric Berry (who is coming back from cancer treatment). Marcus Peters, a first-round selection out of Washington, is also going to get starting looks versus the Chargers.

Therefore, the Bolts should rely on the run and success of the play-action to win this divisional contest. Overall, I think that these teams are evenly matched in terms of talent, but I think the Bolts’ front seven defensively is stronger and will dictate the pace of the game.

Ultimately, the passing offense and running game of the Chargers will be the winner for the Chargers.

Next: Could the Bolts look to Canada for free-agent help?

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