Week 9 kicks off tonight as the San Diego Chargers host the Kansas City Chiefs. Our TNF analyst Trent Green filed this report:
The San Diego Chargers offense used to be one of the most feared units in the National Football League. Points, yards, rushing records, passing records, touchdown records. Same coach, same quarterback and same record-setting tight end. Sure, LT is long gone and they don’t have a big play receiver, but the biggest difference is the offensive line play. The Chargers are extremely inconsistent in pass protection and the rushing attack barely cracks 100 yards a game. Look for the Chiefs to exploit this. When the teams first met this season, the Chiefs held the Chargers to under 300 yards of offense. The problem for the defense that day was their own offense turning the ball over six times.
The Chiefs have yet to defend a lead this season. The whole season! Tonight will mark their 8th game! K.C.’s lone win against New Orleans came in overtime on a field goal that ended the game. They need to eliminate the mistakes to give themselves a chance. Through seven games they have 13 interceptions, 12 lost fumbles, are giving up 2.5 sacks per game and averaging six penalties a game. You don’t give yourself much of a chance executing like that.
Tonight’s game will be played by two teams that start and finish games drastically different. The Chiefs have scored only 6 points in the first quarter all season long, while the Chargers have put up 51 points. The Chiefs have put up 56 fourth-quarter points, although most have been in garbage time when the games had already been decided. The Chargers, on the other hand, have given up 53 points in the fourth quarter, which contributed in large part to two of their four losses. Clearly the Chiefs need to start fast tonight and see what it’s like to hold a lead. The Chargers, meanwhile, need to be able to close out a game in the fourth quarter.
– Trent Green
Former NFL quarterback Trent Green is Westwood One’s Thursday Night Football analyst. Trent, Kevin Kugler and sideline reporter Scott Kaplan are in San Diego to bring you all the action as the Chargers face the Chiefs. Coverage from Qualcomm Stadium begins at 8 PM Eastern tonight.