- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Five nuggets knowledge about Week 8:
This is the Chiefs’ chance: The Chiefs have a chance to pad their record. They have fought their way to 3-3 after starting 0-3, and if they beat the Chargers on Monday night, there will be a three-way tie for first place in the AFC West between the Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders (who are on a bye this week) at 4-3. The San Diego game is the start of a three-game home stretch for the Chiefs. After the Chargers, the Chiefs host the Dolphins and Broncos. It is crucial for the Chiefs to win as many games as possible in this stretch. Their schedule gets incredible tough after that. It begins a five-game stretch (games 10-15) in which Kansas City plays five 2010 playoffs teams, including the four teams that advanced to the conference championship round.
Air Tebow: According to ESPN Stats & Information, Denver quarterback Tim Tebow is averaging 13.3 air yards per pass attempt this season and 12.3 air yards per attempt for his career. He has played four and a half career games. Since the start of 2010, no quarterback with at least 100 attempts has a higher average rate than Tebow.
Another Monday night monsoon? This is the second straight year these two teams played on Monday night at Arrowhead. Last year, the Chiefs beat the Chargers in Week 1, which opened the renovated Arrowhead Stadium. Much of the game was played in a monsoon. The Chargers’ offense was completely flustered by the weather. Will it happen again? The long-term Kansas City forecast calls for clear weather Monday.
The power of Tolbert: The Chargers’ favorite red-zone target (especially with tight end Antonio Gates out three games due to a foot injury) has been running back Mike Tolbert. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Tolbert is tied with former Charger Darren Sproles, who signed with New Orleans this summer, for running backs with 10 targeted passes in the red zone. Tolbert has seven catches for 35 yards and two scores in the red zone. Tolbert is active in the red zone on the ground as well. He is tied for the league lead with 15 rushes on goal-to-go carries. He has three touchdowns in those situations.
The return of Scheffler: Many Denver fans rue the trades of Jay Cutler, Peyton Hillis and Brandon Marshall, all made by former coach Josh McDaniels. Denver fans will see another offensive player discarded by McDaniels on Sunday when tight end Tony Scheffler and Detroit come to town. A favorite of McDaniels’ predecessor Mike Shanahan, who drafted Scheffler in the second round in 2006, Scheffler was caught in McDaniels’ doghouse and was traded to his home state of Michigan last year. The Lions love Scheffler, and he has become a key part of a potent offense.