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Game Preview: Chargers vs Chiefs

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/preview?gameId=20061217024">Fox Sports</a>

    <img alt="Chargers vs Chiefs" title="Chargers vs Chiefs" src="http://www.bolttalk.com/images/chargersvchiefs.gif" />

    LaDainian Tomlinson has his touchdown record and the San Diego Chargers have the AFC West title.

    Tomlinson will try to break another NFL record while helping the Chargers hurt a division rival's playoff hopes when San Diego hosts the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.

    The Chiefs, who likely need to win out to have any chance of making the postseason, are playing with heavy hearts after owner Lamar Hunt died late Wednesday night after a long battle with cancer. He was 74.

    Hunt moved the Dallas Texans to Kansas City in 1963, where the team became the Chiefs as part of the old AFL, and he played a major role in shaping the NFL into what it is today. The AFC championship trophy is named after him.

    "He wanted people to love the sports like he did," his wife Norma said. "He loved sports so much, he was so passionate about them and he wanted others to share the joy."

    "He was one of the most considerate, one of the most thoughtful and one of the most visionary people you could ever deal with," former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said.

    That could provide extra incentive for Kansas City as it tries to stop Tomlinson, which won't be an easy task.

    Tomlinson, who's had one of the best seven-week stretches in NFL history, scored three times in San Diego's 48-20 win over Denver last Sunday. He has 29 total touchdowns this season, one more than Shaun Alexander's record of 28 set a year ago.

    He has scored 174 points this season, just two behind Paul Hornung's NFL record set with Green Bay in 1960. With the way Tomlinson's been getting into the end zone, that record seems likely to fall soon.

    The sixth-year running back has been better than ever this season, scoring multiple touchdowns in nine games. He is second in the NFL with 1,427 yards rushing, just five behind Kansas City's Larry Johnson, and he's added another 479 yards receiving.

    Tomlinson has scored at least two touchdowns in seven straight games, matching John Riggins' record set with Washington in 1983. He has rushed for 954 yards and scored 21 times in that span, all victories for San Diego (11-2).

    "I believe he's the finest running back I've ever seen in professional football," Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "At this time, in this era, I think he's the very best."

    The last team to hold him to less than two touchdowns - and the last team to beat San Diego - was Kansas City, which held Tomlinson to 66 yards on 15 carries in a 30-27 win on Oct. 22. He did have six catches for 72 yards and a score in that contest.

    San Diego has steamrolled through the AFC since that defeat. The Chargers wrapped up the division title with last Sunday's win and can clinch a first-round bye with a victory over the Chiefs (7-6) and an Indianapolis loss to Cincinnati on Monday.

    With a one-game lead over both the Colts and Baltimore, San Diego will secure home-field advantage if it wins out. The Chargers are 6-0 at Qualcomm Stadium this season, winning by an average of 16.5 points.

    "I know it can get old us saying this, but Kansas City is the only team that we can worry about," Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers told the team's official Web site. "It's the next game. We need to focus on winning each game to stay where we are. That way the playoffs do come right through here down the road."

    Schottenheimer is 6-6 against Kansas City, the team he won 101 games with from 1989-98.

    San Diego, which has won 12 of its last 16 division games, is trying to match the franchise record for victories in a season. Two years ago, the Chargers went 12-4 and won the AFC West, but lost 20-17 in overtime to the New York Jets in the first round of the playoffs.

    Chiefs coach Herman Edwards was New York's coach in that game and is 4-1 against San Diego in his career, but his current team has lost consecutive games to put itself in danger of missing the playoffs for the third straight season.

    "It's hard," said Johnson, who's rushed for 100 yards in seven of the past eight games. "Now we realize we're at the bottom of the pile trying to fight our way up."

    Kansas City trails Cincinnati and Jacksonville by one game in the wild-card race and is tied with Denver and New York, but its poor conference record (3-6) hurts the team in tiebreaker scenarios.

    Johnson had 132 yards and two touchdowns, and Lawrence Tynes kicked a career-long 53-yard field goal with six seconds left to give Kansas City the win over the Chargers in October.

    The Chiefs, though, have lost six of their past eight games in San Diego and are 2-4 on the road this season.

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