Even though the Chargers didn’t play on Sunday and were coming off a pretty great Thursday night win, I wasn’t feeling it yesterday. Usually when the Chargers win I’m hamming it up at the water cooler in my office and high-fiving the mail guy. Yesterday, I was moping around like I usually do when the Chargers lose. In a way, Sunday felt like a Chargers loss. When Ben Roethlisberger’s last second comeback attempt against the Jets fell short, the Chargers pretty much kissed their Wild Card hopes goodbye. Earlier in the day, the Chiefs inched closer to the division title when the Rams (playing for something god awful called the Governor’s Cup) failed to capitalize on some early opportunities and ended up getting manhandled.
Now the Chargers playoff hopes rest on either the Titans or Raiders beating the Chiefs at home (where they’re undefeated) or the unlikely event that both the Bears and Bills beat the Jets. The realization of this is what made me feel down yesterday. Out of those four teams only the Bears have a winning record and since they clinched their division last night they really have nothing to play for. But I woke up this morning, did some research and what I learned was like an espresso shot to my morale. I now think the Titans can beat the Chiefs. And here are four reasons why:
1. The new Arrowhead has been good to the Chiefs. KC is undefeated at home. The only other teams that haven’t lost at home yet this season are the Patriots and Falcons. How is this good news you ask? They Chiefs aren’t nearly as good as the Patriots or Falcons. Do you really see the Kansas City Chiefs going undefeated at home this year? I don’t. I think they’re due for a home loss. This team went 1-7 at home last year and suddenly there a dominant home team? Something doesn’t make sense. They’re the guy at the roulette table who keeps betting red and somehow winning. Eventually it’s going to hit black.
2. If there’s a team dirty enough to go after Matt Cassel’s appendix, it’s the Titans. Remember, this is the team that took out Shawne Merriman (he was never the same after) and Gates during the ’08 playoffs. The Titans are widely acknowledged as one of the dirtiest teams in the NFL. When they smell blood, they will look to hurt you. Don’t tell me Jeff Fisher doesn’t realize KC’s backup QB is Brodie Croyle. He’s going to unleash the hounds and beat Matt Cassel like he owes them money.
3. KC’s rush defense is 16th in the league allowing 4.2 yards per carry and 14th in the league in rush yardage allowed. They’re not that great which means Tennessee, behind Chris Johnson, could have a big day on the ground. Tennessee is ranked 8th in the league in rushing yards per carry (4.8) and 13th in rushing yards. Also, Johnson has rushed for 100+ yards 4 out of his past 6 games including his last two. I feel like you should know these things.
4. There was a time earlier in the season when the Titans were hot. At one point the Titans were 5-2, after Kerry Collins led them to back-to-back wins against the Jaguars and Eagles. Then Collins got hurt, Vince Young blew up, Kenny Britt went down, they had to trot out Rusty Smith at QB (terrible name for a QB BTW) and the Titans were looking at a six game losing streak. Now Collins is healthy and so is Kenny Britt. They killed the Texans last week and gave the Colts a run for their money the week before. My point is these guys aren’t bad. A couple of breaks here and there and they’d be winning the AFC South right now. Titans are a tougher matchup for the Chiefs than most people think.
So there you have it. This game is NOT going to be a cakewalk for the Chiefs. So this Sunday, pop in your gold teeth ala Chris Johnson and root for the Titans. There’s hope and as Charger fans it’s the only thing we can ask for right now.
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