A Look Back At Last Week
After a sluggish first half, the Bolts used a second half surge to blow past the Oakland Raiders 26-13.
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
Ryan Mathews has set a career high with 1,111 yards rushing and shows no sign of slowing down. He has proven to be an excellent complement to
On Offense for the Chiefs
The man who makes the Kansas City offense tick is another MVP candidate, Jamaal Charles. The versatile running back is averaging 5.0 yards per carry, having rushed the ball 259 times for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground. He also leads the team in receptions with 70 for 693 yards and seven TDs. Quarterback Alex Smith has also had a noteworthy season as the former Helix High School standout has completed 308 of 509 passes for 3,313 yards and 23 touchdowns to just eight interceptions. He also ranks second on the team in rushing yards with 431.
On Defense for the Chargers
The Chargers defense goes into Sunday’s regular-season finale playing some of their best football of the season. They have 10 total takeaways in the last five games. The Bolts’ defense has held its last three opponents to an average of just 297.7 yards and 15.7 points per game, including a season-best 265-yard showing last Sunday against Oakland. The Bolts held the Raiders to 59 yards on the ground a week after holding Denver to a season-low 18 yards rushing. San Diego’s secondary also has been playing outstanding football the last three weeks with four interceptions and 21 passes defended in the last three games. The team’s third down defense also has been exceptional the last three games, giving up just 9-of-30 third-down attempts, including a 4-of-13 performance last Sunday against the Raiders.
On Defense for the Chiefs
Kansas City has boasted one of the best defenses in the NFL for most of the season, though their numbers have dipped as of late. They are still an opportunistic bunch, with Quintin Demps leading the way with four of the team’s 20 interceptions while Eric Berry has three. Meanwhile, Derrick Johnson has been a nightmare for opposing offenses, leading the Chiefs with 107 total tackles. The big names on defense remain to be Tamba Hali and Justin Houston who are both tied for the team lead with 11 sacks.
The Chargers beat the Chiefs, 41-38, at Arrowhead Stadium on Nov. 24, their third-straight win over the Chiefs, and lead the all-time series with Kansas City, 54-52-1.
By the Numbers
For the year, the Chargers rank sixth in total offense (392.5 yards per game), fourth in passing (273.9 ypg), 13th in rushing (118.6 ypg) and 14th in points (24.6). The Chiefs rank 20th in total offense (337.6ypg), 23rd in passing (210.1 ypg), ninth in rushing (127.5 ypg) and sixth in points (27.1)
Defensively, the Bolts rank 24th in total defense (368.8 ypg), 29th in passing (263.3 ypg), 10th in rushing (105.5 ypg) and 11th in points allowed (21.6). Kansas City ranks 23rd in total defense (365.3 ypg), 23rd in passing (249.5 ypg), 21st in rushing (115.8 ypg) and fourth in points allowed (18.5).
Milestones on the Horizon
Keenan Allen needs 43 receiving yards to record the 35th 1,000-yard season in franchise history and the first by an NFL rookie since Cincinnati’s A.J. Green posted 1,057 in 2011. Allen would also become only the fifth NFL rookie since 2000 to go over 1,000 yards.
Philip Rivers needs 251 yards for his third-career 4,500-yard season. It would mark his third in the last four seasons. It would also set a new team mark for career 4,500-yard seasons as he and Dan Fouts are currently tied with two apiece.
Rivers has thrown a touchdown pass in 19 consecutive games, tying John Hadl for the third-most consecutive games with a touchdown pass. If he throws one Sunday against the Chiefs, he will tie Dan Fouts (1979-80) for the second-longest streak in team history. Rivers already holds the team record for consecutive games with a scoring strike (23), set during the 2009-10 seasons.
Ryan Mathews has rushed for 1,111 yards this season. He needs 68 Sunday against the Chiefs to crack the team’s single-season top-10 list. Earnest Jackson’s 1,179 yards in 1984 currently stands as the 10th best single-season performance in team history. The ninth and eighth best seasons are also within striking distance. Mathews would need 114 yards to equal the ninth-best season of Marion Butts (1,225 in 1990) and 125 yards to equal the eighth-best season of LaDainian Tomlinson (1,236 in 2001).
Nick Novak has 344 career points, good for ninth on the team’s all-time scoring list. He needs five more to move past Gary Garrison (348) for eighth.
Novak has 135 points this season, third in the NFL. His 32 made field goals are tied for second-most in a season in team history and he needs just two more to tie John Carney’s team record of 34 in 1994.
Chargers fullback Le’Ron McClain joined the Chargers in 2012 after spending the 2011 season in Kansas City.
Nick Novak kicked in six games for the Chiefs in 2009, hitting six of 10 field goals with a long of 43.
David Whitehurst, father of Chargers quarterback
Chargers’ offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris spent the 2008-09 seasons as an assistant offensive line coach in Kansas City, his first NFL coaching position.
Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Rick Lyle grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. He played football, wrestled and competed in track at Hickman Hills High School before heading off to college to play football and compete in track at the University of Missouri.
Offensive quality control coach Nick Sirianni spent the last four seasons coaching in Kansas City, including 2012 as the Chiefs’ wide receivers coach and 2009-11 as a quality control coach.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith is a native of La Mesa, Calif. and he prepped at Helix High School.
Chiefs running backs coach Eric Bieniemy played running back for the Chargers from 1991-94. He was a member of the Bolts’ AFC Champion squad in ’94.
CBS (KFMB, Channel 8 in San Diego and KCBS, Channel 2 in Los Angeles and Orange County) – Marv Albert(play-by-play), Rich Gannon (analyst)
Rock 105.3 FM, XTRA Sports 1360 (San Diego) and AM 570 KLAC (Los Angeles & Orange County) – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Hank Bauer (analyst), Mike Costa (sideline)
Spanish Radio –XHFG 107.3 (San Diego) and KWKW 1330 AM (Los Angeles) – Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Dante Lazcano (analyst)
All Chargers radio broadcasts are now being streamed live on the team’s official website, www.chargers.com. XTRA Sports 1360 Broadcasts with Josh Lewin (play-by-play) and Hank Bauer (analyst) will begin two hours before kickoff and continue for 90 minutes of postgame coverage after the game ends.
For a unique, one-of-a-kind look at the Chargers, be sure to tune in each week to Chargers Insider on Fox Sports San Diego. The half-hour program will be the go-to destination for fans that want behind-the-scenes coverage and unique features on the team. Chargers Insider airs each week throughout the season on Thursdays at 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. PT as well as Saturday’s at 11:35pm on KFMB, Channel 8.