September 25, 2017 / 12:23 AM / 3 months ago

Preview: Chiefs at Chargers

The Kansas City Chiefs look to stretch their streak of consecutive victories over AFC West opponents to 12 when they visit the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. The streak is the longest current string of divisional success in the NFL, with Kansas City’s last such loss coming in Week 2 of the 2015 season against Denver, which went on to the win Super Bowl.

Kansas City’s Alex Smith doesn’t have an answer for the impressive run of victories against the Broncos, Chargers and Oakland. “They all come down to the wire and all come down to a couple plays that make the difference,” Smith told reporters. “I wish I could tell you, I wish I had the secret. I‘m sure it is a ton of things. It is ultimately about the 53 guys.” The Chargers are in must-win mode after losing their first two games by a combined five points, with unsuccessful late field-goal attempts being a factor both times. “It’s really simple, nobody is going to feel sorry for us,” Los Angeles quarterback Philip Rivers told reporters. “We have a division opponent coming in that’s not going to have any sympathy for us losing two tough ones at the buzzer.”

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Chiefs -3. O/U: 47/5

ABOUT THE CHIEFS (2-0): Smith has been superb, completing 77.8 percent of his passes for 619 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions over the first two games. Rookie running back Kareem Hunt has been the talk of the NFL as he leads the league in rushing yards (229) and scrimmage yards (355) while scoring five touchdowns (three rushing, two receiving). Kansas City’s defense has experienced some issues, allowing 388.5 yards per game, but already has racked up nine sacks - with outside linebacker Justin Houston and defensive end Chris Jones recording three apiece.

ABOUT THE CHARGERS (0-2): Rivers is completing 73.6 percent of his passes for 523 yards, four touchdowns and one interception, but his club is averaging just 19 points per game. Running back Melvin Gordon (knee) is ailing and has gained only 67 yards on 27 carries while wideout Keenan Allen has corralled 14 passes but is averaging just 9.6 yards. Second-year outside linebacker Jatavis Brown has made an NFL-best 26 tackles while pass rusher Melvin Ingram (2.5 sacks) seems intent on living up to his recently signed four-year, $66 million contract.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Chiefs have won the last six meetings and hold a 58-54-1 series lead.

2. Allen suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the 2016 opener against Kansas City.

3. Kansas City WR Tyreek Hill set a franchise record with a 95-yard punt-return touchdown against the Chargers last season.

PREDICTION: Chiefs 34, Chargers 28

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