Run, run, run and run some more. The key to this game for the Chiefs will be sticking to their strengths and avoiding a shootout .
Here's the run down on the Chiefs and Chargers Monday Night Football game.
When the Chiefs run the ball....
They'll have an advantage when they run the ball, there's no doubt about that. The Chiefs have Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles -- thunder and lightning -- as well as Dexter McCluster (microburst?). They have the tools necessary to consistently be able to switch things up and successfully run the ball.
If the Chiefs beat the Chargers, there is no doubt in my mind it will be because they dominated the run game.
When the Chiefs pass the ball...
There are very few situations in which I would favor the Chiefs when passing the ball and this isn't one of them. To this point, Matt Cassel hasn't demonstrated he can take over a game so we shouldn't expect him to do that against the Chargers. Look for Cassel to be more of a game manager than anything and minimize mistakes.
The Chargers clearly have an advantage if they're making Cassel pass the ball a lot.
When the Chargers run the ball...
We think the Chargers will have this advantage but we really don't know. Last year the Chiefs run defense was awful but it's been much improved through limited action in the preseason. Are they better? I think they are but we haven't seen it yet. Meanwhile, the Chargers will be rolling with Ryan Mathews at running back who is a rookie so we don't exactly know what he brings to the table.
We think the Chargers have the advantage here but we can't say that for certain
When the Chargers pass the ball....
Even though the Chiefs secondary is the strength of their defense, the Chargers have a clear advantage passing the ball. Vincent Jackson is gone but Antonio Gates is not. The Chargers and Philip Rivers are among the best in the NFL passing the ball and that probably won't change much against the Chiefs.
The Chargers have the advantage here but the Chiefs new-look secondary could limit the big plays which would significantly limit the Chargers effectiveness in the passing game.
Javier Arenas gives the Chiefs the tiebreaker here. Both teams have solid kickers -- Nate Kaeding and Ryan Succop -- and both have very good punters -- Mike Scifres and Dustin Colquitt. The Chiefs' Arenas is an advantage because not many people know about him.
I have a feeling after Monday Night Football more people will know about Arenas.
You gotta go with the veteran here, Norv Turner. The Chargers usually start off the season slow but Turner's won every year he's been in San Diego. He's helped the Chargers turn into one of the best offenses in the NFL. Chiefs coach Todd Haley hasn't proved anything in the NFL but has the help of Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel.
The edge here goes to Turner and his staff because they've proven they can win.