Week 17 AFC West Preview: Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers

Week 17 AFC West Preview: Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers

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AFC-West-logoLast week, the AFC West division champion was crowned when the Denver Broncos dominated the Houston Texans, and the Kansas City Chiefs laid an egg against the Indianapolis Colts. The Chiefs clinched a playoff spot despite this thanks to the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens both losing last week.

Those losses gave hope to the San Diego Chargers who now are tied with the Ravens and Dolphins for the final playoff spot and could take the sixth seed with a win and some help.

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers (1:25 PM, PT, CBS)

This game means nothing to the Chiefs, who are locked in to the five seed in the AFC. For the Chargers, this game could mean everything. By the time kickoff rolls around the both the Dolphins and Ravens will have finished their games and if both lose, the Chargers will clinch the final playoff spot with a victory over the Chiefs.

Coach Andy Reid said he will mix starters and backups in this game which means don’t expect to see much of Jamaal Charles, Alex Smith, and Dwayne Bowe. The defense especially, will likely see very little time which means Philip Rivers and company should be able to have a field day. Ryan Matthews has looked great running the ball as of late and Keenan Allen and Antonio Gates have given Rivers a pair of extremely reliable targets.

The Charger defense, while struggling for most of the season, has played extremely well over the last month and is surrendering only 16 points per game over the last four games. Eric Weddle continues to be one of the game’s best safeties and is the engine for this defense.

The Chargers seemed to have ruined their playoff chances with their three game losing streak earlier in the season, but they have saved their best football for the end of the season and with some help could sneak their way into the playoffs. The Chiefs won’t try hard or risk their star players with nothing to gain or lose in this game so expect the Chiefs to run up the score behind their high powered offense and improved defense.