Week 1 Preview: Chargers at Chiefs
The Chargers on Defense
A big question mark coming into the season. Shawne Merriman will either not play or be severely limited, which leads the task of harassing Matt Cassell to Shaun Phillips and Larry English.
The Chiefs are an improved running team with the dismissal of Larry Johnson, the emergence of Jamaal Charles, and the drafting of Dexter McCluster. With that said, the matchup I’ll be watching closely is the Chargers defensive line against the Chiefs offensive line. If the patchwork, Jamal Williams-less Chargers group allows the Chiefs running game to succeed, taking the ball out of shaky Matt Cassell’s hands, this game could be a lot closer than some think.
The Chiefs on Offense
Matt Cassell looks to recover from a dismal 2009. The Chiefs brought Charlie Weis in to help out the kid, hoping to actually get a return on that $50 million investment. Cassell’s stats against the Chargers last year were not good, throwing for only 2 TDs and 4 picks in 2 games. Charlie Weis has his work cut out for him.
The Chiefs on Defense
The Chiefs do have some talent here. Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson, and rookie Eric Berry are all first-round picks with solid college pedigrees looking to shut down the Chargers. New defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel will need to scheme the game of his life to do so, though. Even head coach Todd Haley was quoted as saying the Chiefs need to “play above [their] potential.”
This is not a trap game. I fully expect the Chargers to win. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some hiccups, though. In last year’s MNF opener against the Raiders, the team came out flat and offensive linemen were going down so fast we almost had to put a tight end at left tackle. I don’t see that happening again. It’s the Chargers by two touchdowns.
San Diego – 31
Kansas City – 17