MNF Preview: San Diego-Kansas City

A big game in the AFC West goes tonight from Kansas City, as the Chiefs host incoming San Diego. KC has turned it season around after looking hideous in the preseason and then in their early regular season games. They’ve won three in a row, are back to .500 and can pull into a tie with the Chargers should they win tonight. For San Diego, this is the middle stretch of a tough three-game run that started with the Jets last week and concludes next Sunday with a home game against Green Bay.

Kansas City has been able to bounce back thanks to the running of Jackie Battle, who has stepped into the void left when Jamaal Charles was lost for the season. The addition of Steve Breaston as a second wide receiver to accompany Dwayne Bowe has paid dividends and given Matt Cassell a more balanced package of targets than he had a year ago.

San Diego’s got plenty of targets, but it seems Philip Rivers was better off last year when everyone was hurt and he played catch with the guys that were brought in out of the stands as replacement. As one who picked Rivers for my Fantasy team I’ve seen the drop-off in numbers. Now the Bolts have a problem defensively in that Shaun Phillips, their playmaking outside linebacker is out for tonight’s game. Without Phillips wreaking havoc, the possibility exists for Cassell to have more time and put more pressure on the San Diego secondary.

With the Chargers it often comes down to focus and execution in key spots. Norv Turner’s skills as an offensive coordinator are such that they can points on the board, and while the overall talent base has declined from the level when they were widely considered the league’s most loaded team, San Diego can still compete with almost anyone. But will they take care of business at key moments? They didn’t last year on a Monday Night in Kansas City, and the Notebook guess is that the Chiefs ride their momentum to another win in what should be a good game.