The mighty Kansas City Chiefs fell for the first time this season when they lost last week against the Broncos. Still, their 9-1 record keeps them tied for first place in the AFC West, and they’re headed home today for a 1pm EST / 10am PST game against the 4-6 San Diego Chargers, losers of three straight. Seems like a recipe for victory, and a way for the Chiefs to get back on track. But it’s not guaranteed. The Chargers are still fighting for a wild-card playoff spot, so both teams have a lot to play for today Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. If you can’t catch the game’s broadcast live on CBS, you can watch Chargers vs Chiefs online free using one of several different methods.
Both the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs rely a ton on their quarterbacks, though the Chargers’ Philip Rivers has the definite edge today. For the season, Chargers QB Rivers has thrown 254-358 for 2,989 yards and 19 touchdowns. Those numbers are staggering, but he’s been efficient as well, earning the number-five spot on ESPN’s quarterback rankings. The Chiefs’ Alex Smith hasn’t exactly been a slouch this season, having gone 209-360 for 2,149 yards and 11 TDs, but he’s earned a below-average #27 QBR and hasn’t gotten nearly the same attention as the Chiefs’ rushing game or defense.
Indeed, the Chiefs have the NFL’s 12th-ranked defense, a rating that’s actually fallen in recent weeks. Likewise, Kansas City’s ground game has flirted with a top-ten ranking for quite some time, with the Chiefs’ rushing attack ranked #11 in the NFL through 11 weeks. Kansas City’s ground attack begins and ends with running back Jamaal Charles, who has carried the ball 186 times this season for 803 yards and six touchdowns. Interestingly, QB Alex Smith is the Chiefs’ second-leading rusher, with 317 yards and a 5.5-yards-per-carry average.
On the other side of the field, you’ll see a Chargers rushing game anchored by Ryan Matthews, who has 150 carries for 666 yards and a 4.4-yards-per-carry average, although he’s only scored two touchdowns on the season. Instead, most of the Chargers’ touchdowns have come through the air, where QB Philip Rivers has connected with four different receivers for three or more TDs. Remember that whole “Philip Rivers is an efficient QB” thing? Eddie Royal has led the way in that regard, nabbing seven receiving TDs from Rivers this year, though his 397 receiving yards are the lowest of the Chargers’ top receivers. When you watch Chargers vs Chiefs online free today, keep an eye on the Rivers-to-Royal hookup. The Chiefs are only allowing 219 yards per game through the air, so Rivers may not always be able to hit his favorite target.
You’ll also want to watch how the Chiefs respond at home after suffering their first defeat of the 2013 NFL season. Not only is the Kansas City offensive line banged up, but the wide receivers will desperately need to make more plays. Neither Donnie Avery nor Dwayne Bowe did much last week, but they’ll certainly have their chances this week against the Chargers’ 27th-ranked defense. Kansas City should be able to play ball control on defense today, but the offense will need to complete some throws down the field. The Chiefs were hoping to see how wide receiver Kyle Williams and his speed could help their passing game, but he tore his ACL and is done for the season.
You can watch Chargers vs Chiefs online free on DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket with MAX Package. The package requires a subscription, but anyone who has one can watch the live streaming version free of any game, including today’s 1pm EST / 10am PST on CBS between the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs.