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Chargers' schedule breakdown: Chiefs

8/1/2014

We continue our examination of the San Diego Chargers' opponents for the 2014 regular season.

Seventh up: Kansas City Chiefs

When: The Chargers host the Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium on Oct. 19, and travel to Kansas City on Dec. 28 to close out the 2014 regular season.

Last season: In the team's first year under coach Andy Reid, the Chiefs were one of the surprise teams finishing 11-5 and reaching the postseason. Kansas City lost at Indianapolis in the AFC wild-card round, 45-44.

All-time series vs. Chargers: San Diego owns a 53-52-1 edge over Kansas City in the all-time series.

Last meeting vs. Chargers: The Chargers sneaked past Kansas City in a 27-24 overtime victory that clinched a spot in a postseason for the first time since 2009 on Dec. 29 of last year.

Super Bowl odds: 50-1

Key offseason additions: The Chiefs added defensive tackle Vance Walker from AFC West rival Oakland and former Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Jeff Linkenbach in free agency to help shore up deficiencies up front on both sides of the ball. First-round selection edge rusher Dee Ford should help juice up an already potent pass rush. And fourth rounder De'Anthony Thomas adds playmaking ability.

Key offseason losses: The Chiefs lost three of their five starting offensive lineman in free agency with Brandon Albert (Dolphins), Geoff Schwartz (Giants) and Jon Asamoah (Falcons) leaving in free agency. Run-stuffing defensive tackle Tyson Jackson also signed a multi-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons. Versatile playmaker Dexter McCluster joined the Tennessee Titans in free agency. And, of course, the Chiefs cut Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Flowers, who signed with the AFC west division rivals, the Chargers.

The skinny: Reid's biggest issue will be figuring out how to rebuild an offensive line that lost three starters, and it will start with second-year pro Eric Fisher. The Central Michigan product -- the No. 1 overall selection in last year's draft -- will move to left tackle, and needs to play well for things to fall into place for the Chiefs.

Thomas will likely assume McCluster's role in Kansas City's offense and as a punt returner. Running back Jamaal Charles remains one of the most complete running backs in the NFL, but the Chiefs don't have many other playmakers on offense to take some pressure off of him.

Quarterback Alex Smith played well in his first season with the Chiefs. But now he wants a new deal, and you wonder if the University of Utah product can put up similar-type numbers in 2014.

Defensively, Kansas City's front seven is solid. But other than Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry, the Chiefs have question marks in the defensive backfield.

Four of Kansas City's first six games are on the road, including stops in Denver, Miami, San Francisco and San Diego on Oct. 19. The Chiefs will be fortunate to be at the .500 mark after that treacherous stretch.