AFC West Rival Breakdown: Kansas City Chiefs

Coming into the 2010 season, the San Diego Chargers had held the title of the AFC West champs 5 of the previous 6 years. The Chargers are infamous for having a slow start to the season but when the Chargers traveled to Kansas City for their opening game of the 2010 season, most thought that the Bolts would be able to kick off the season with a notch in the “W” Column. However, this was not the same Kansas City team that we had faced in previous years, and the Chargers got a rude awakening as they were upset 14-21.

Looking at the game stats you see that Rivers threw for 298 yards, and Chief QB Matt Cassel threw for just 68 yards. With San Diego’s total offensive yards totaling 407 and the Chiefs’ adding up to a mere 203. So how did the Chiefs take home the “W”? Our seasons’ special teams issues were very evident during this match-up as the Chiefs averaged 32 yards per punt return. Yes, you heard right! 32 yards per punt return totaling 160 yards, including one returned by Dexter McCluster for a touchdown at the end of the first half. The Chargers outplayed the Chiefs in 2 of the 3 phases including offense and defense, but this goes to show how Special Teams can be the make or break factor in winning ball games.

At the end of 2011, Charger fans nationwide let out a great sigh of relief as Special Teams coach Steve Crosby was released and new Special Teams coach Rich Bisaccia was hired in. Bisaccia has a very productive track record and accompanied his previous team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl. He made his presence well known in the 2011 NFL draft by pursuing many new Special Team players and made a forward statement that he was fired up about rebuilding our Special Teams back up to a level of greatness.

So assuming that the Chargers wont be having serious issues in Special Teams, let’s take a look at what kind of weapons we will be facing against the Kansas City Chiefs.

1. Jamal Charles
2010 stats: 1467 yards rushing, with an average of 6.4 yards per carry.
Charles has blazing speed and when he gets into the open field is nearly impossible to catch. He is a great pass catcher and almost had 500 yards receiving this past season.

2. TRIO: Matt Cassel/ Jonathon Baldwin / Dwayne Bowe
Matt Cassel is currently drooling over the weapons in which he will be targeting this coming season. Dwayne Bowe is known to be one of the best receivers today in the National Football League and with the new addition of 6’5″ rookie skyscraper receiver Jonathon Baldwin, the Chiefs will be loaded in the passing game. Luckily for the Chargers, we possess the leagues best passing defense!

3. DUO: Dexter McCluster / Javier Arenas
With 2 speedster return men, the Bolts will need to make sure all gaps and holes are filled on Special Teams in order to not see a repeat of week 1 of the 2010 season.

4. DUO: Justin Houston / Allen Bailey
2 beast defensive end weapons which will put the ultimate test to the Chargers O-line and blocking. Yes, they are both rookies and should develop over time but these guys could very well jump in and make a great impact right from the get go.

5. Eric Berry
One of the best young defenders in the league right now. Eric Berry is a ball hawk who amassed 4 picks in his first season in the NFL, one of which was returned for a touchdown. He was very active on every play and totaled 92 tackles on the season with 2 sacks. Luckily for the Chargers, we have one of the most accurate and smart QB’s in the league who can pick apart any defense.

With the Kansas City Chiefs looking like an all around threat through all 3 phases, the 2011 season will be a true test for the Chargers as they attempt to return to the top of the AFC west once again!

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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs

  • Gilly!

    good article bro, GO CHIEFS!

  • Nate

    That really made me feel good about being a Chiefs fan. SD is on the decline. It’t interesting that SD is scared of our draft picks.

  • Ernie Padaon

    this is still our division to lose. Last season, we LOST it!

    the chiefs and the raiders are getting better, but this is still our division!

  • Paul Maland

    You know I will definitely admit that I give props to the Chiefs on their draft picks, but I 100% fully agree with you Ernie that this is OUR division to lose.

    Everyone knows that within the last decade the Chargers OWN the AFC west. Can’t wait to be back atop the division, but all I can say is that if one team had to give us a run I like KC to do it cause they are the least of my rival hatred in the division!

    • chiefhokie

      We KC fans appreciate the props, thank you sir. I also admit that even though we won the division last season, the division still is in YOUR hands. You’ve owned it for years now, and one season doesn’t make that all go away, especially since we had a soft schedule. However, I do believe the chiefs are on the rise while the chargers are tapering off a bit, but only time will tell. I wish SD the best of luck, as you are our only rival we don’t despise. We all hate the raiders though, so at least we all have something in common!

      • Paul Maland

        This is quite possibly my favorite reply comment in my Bolt Beat history. HAHA a uniting of Raider haters! Take that Silver and Black, a kick to the groin from half the division!
        Thanks for reading chiefhokie!

  • Ryan

    umm tamba hali/brandon flowers?

    • Paul Maland

      Ryan – Tamba Hali was not placed into this blog because even with the franchise tag, there is no sure fire link to him being in Kansas City next season. He is an ultimate threat and put up the 2nd most sacks in the league last year, but without a solid contract binding him to KC he could be on the market come time for free agency. It is the same reason that I do not include players like Vincent Jackson, Darren Sproles, and Nnamdi Asomugha in my blogs, because I can’t bank on them being rostered this season.

      Thanks for reading.

  • Chris

    I don’t understand why tamba hali is not on this list but yet the rookie pass rushers are.

    • Paul Maland

      Because Tamba Hali is not guaranteed to be a Chief and at camp, these rookies are. When Tamba Hali is under contract, or the franchise tag sticks officially, then he will make that list.

      • jcomp11

        So you included rookies (who aren’t under contract) but you didn’t include Hali (who is tagged and said he wants to remain in KC) because he’s not under contract. Odd logic.

  • ChiefDailyBaked

    What about TE Tony Moeaki?, he put up some good numbers for a rookie, and made some great catches. He was cassel’ security blanket, if you dont think he will have an impact you should become a jokeland fan.

  • 1kmilesfromkc

    Good article, it’s nice to see the point of view of an outsider from time to time.

    I think this season is all about Matt Cassel. With the weapons at his disposal, this is Cassel’s time to shine (assuming Haley gives him more than a dozen or so passes a game). I think we’ll find out this year if we have a franchise quarterback for the next five or so years or if we simply have a stopgap QB. I also think McCluster has to perform as we’ll need him in the slot to keep Bowe from being double teamed.

    Good luck this season (if we have one), I’ll be rooting for you guys to finish with almost as many wins as the Chiefs.

  • Clinton

    Great article- I believe jamaal will be jamaal and give amazing numbers once again, it comes down to Cassel and our d – Cassel showed consistency last year but at times panicked and made bad reads , took a sack etc- 27 Tds to 7 picks last year was great but the completion percentage needs to increase to at least 61%…The d at times was superior and explosive but then other games seemed to have stayed on the team bus- the secondary-Flowers, Carr ,Berry ,Lewis could be a top five secondary next year , we need a real pass rusher to go along with blitzer extraordinaire Tamba Hali, hopefully Houston can replace Vrabel in the starting line up and start pressuring the likes of Campbell , Rivers etc asap..Derrick Johnson was consistent for the first time last year and needs to remain a force and leader on d- Dorsey was a top run stopper last year and will build on his previous year but a 180 in contrast to this is 2009 number 3 pick Tyson Jackson- I’m afraid the best he will ever be is an average end at best who will need to be consistently rotated in and out of the lineup to keep him fresh- the division will come down to the chargers and chiefs- the broncos are rebuilding and the raiders have a new coach and I predict that they will have growing pains, supbar Qb, no Asomugha, and historically bad drafts the last couple of years…