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Sunday Night Chiefs at Chargers

December 17, 2006

NFL - Kansas City Chiefs (+9, 46) at San Diego Chargers 8:15 PM EST

The Football night in America Feature game pits a pair of AFC West rivals as Kansas City visits red-hot San Diego. The Chargers have won seven straight games to take over the top spot in the AFC. They have averaged 35.3 PPG during that run. The Chiefs on the other hand, have lost two in a row and are desperate for a win to stay in the playoff hunt. It should be an exciting game featuring the two premiere running backs in football, Larry Johnson, and Ladainian Tomlinson.

The 'Bolts are an 8-1/2 point favorite with a rather inflated total of 46 at

San Diego has distinguished itself as the frontrunner for the Super Bowl title this season, and finds itself perched atop many of the major media sites' power ratings. The StatFox Power Ratings are no different, granting the Chargers a rating of 32, at least two points better than any other NFL team. Kansas City had been reaching fairly high on the scale itself before losing its last two games to AFC North Division clubs. Still, a win here would do wonders for the Chiefs' playoff chances, especially when you consider their prospects for wins in the final two games.

If there's one area that might give San Diego an edge in this contest, its on offense, where pseudo-rookie QB Phillip Rivers has had a brilliant season. His efficiency leads to a trend that has been very profitable when fading the Chiefs: KANSAS CITY is 8-23 ATS (-17.3 Units) in road games vs. good passing teams with a completion pct. of 61% or better since 1992. The average score was KANSAS CITY 18.8, OPPONENT 26.0. However, for anyone backing KC, take solace in the fact that they won the first head-to-head meeting between the clubs this year at Arrowhead 30-27, only after nearly coughing up a 17-point lead in the process.

Look for an exciting contest between one team desperate for a win to save its playoff hopes and another looking to secure home-field advantage throughout the postseason. It very well might come down to which stud running back, Johnson or Tomlinson, is able to pick his way through the opposing defense.

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