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The Kansas Chiefs visit the San Diego Chargers for a Thursday Night Football matchup at 7:20 p.m. CT on NFL Network from Qualcomm Stadium. Kansas City enters the game 1-6 while the Chargers are 3-4.

The Chiefs have lost four straight games and are coming off of a 26-16 defeat against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. The game was tied at 6-6 until Raiders WR Denarius Moore caught a nine-yard TD pass from QB Carson Palmer with 49 seconds left in the fi rst half to give Oakland a lead that would not be relinquished.

For Kansas City, eight different players caught passes, led by WR Dexter McCluster, who tied a career-high with six receptions for 54 yards and a 10- yard TD.

On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs became the first team since the 1940 Philadelphia Eagles to finish the first seven games of the season without ever having a lead in regulation.

Those Eagles started the year 0-7. The Chiefs are 1-6. How does a team that’s won a game manage to avoid holding a lead all year?

Kansas City’s lone victory in 2012 came in a Week 3 overtime affair with the New Orleans Saints. The Chiefs came back from an 18-point deficit to tie the game and took its first lead on a game-winning field goal in the extra session.

Seems like a long time ago that the Oakland Raiders had lost four of their first five games and were scuffling along at the bottom of the AFC West.

Turns out a lot can change in a couple of weeks.

Especially when you’re facing two of the worst teams in the league.

Carson Palmer threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, and the Raiders followed up their overtime win over Jacksonville with a comprehensive 26-16 pasting of the Kansas City Chiefs, their sixth straight win at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Chiefs are beyond disappointment, beyond even the kind of stink that makes your eyes water, and are now neck-deep in the all-time pool of pathetic with Matt Millen’s Lions, Turner Gill’s Jayhawks and Buddy Bell’s Royals.

Keep in mind, the Raiders stink, too. They won only two games this season before beating the Chiefs 26-16, a sort-of-close final score that makes it seem like the Chiefs had a chance.

Here’s coach Romeo Crennel’s explanation:

“Well, generally, if the other team is able to score, that puts you down,” he says. “. You can say this is similar to what we’ve been talking about all along. We get penalties at inopportune times, we turn the ball over, then we allow teams to score.”

The 1-6 record makes sure the 2012 version of the Kansas City Chiefs doesn’t go win-less this season, but there’s so just so many things that are wrong with his team apart from having a work horse of a running back in Jamaal Charles, which pretty much ends anything positive about this team.

They have scored only 13 touchdowns this season, none of them by their defense. On the other hand, they’ve turned the ball over 23 times, while forcing only 7 turnovers themselves.

They haven’t had the lead in a game for a single second through the first seven games. Not once. Their win over the New Orleans Saints was an overtime, sudden death win.

They have not scored a touchdown in their opening drive for the last 24 games. On the first possession in the second half, they have turned the ball over 3 consecutive games.

They’ve been outscored 54-3 in the first quarter of games, an average less than 1 point in the first quarter. They’re 8th in the NFL in yards gained this season, but only 30th in scoring. Why? Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers. Their offense gains on average 5.2 yards per play. This results in them averaging a league 4th highest 70+ plays/game average on offense. Romeo Crennel’s defense gives up on average 6.1 yards/play.

The Chargers said the sponsors, including the local CBS affiliate, guaranteed the purchase of enough tickets to lift the local television blackout. Those tickets will be donated to local military bases and military hospitals.

The team wouldn’t say how many tickets had to be sold by the deadline of 5:20 p.m. Monday, but it was believed to be approximately 10,000.

NFL Network began showing Thursday night games in 2006 and never has had one blacked out locally.

Kansas City plays at San Diego on Thursday night, and the stakes are incredibly high for both coaches.

Although I’d be somewhat surprised if Romeo Crennel is canned by the Chiefs in the middle of his first full season, Kansas City’s ineffectiveness has reached historic proportions. The Chiefs have gone seven games without ever holding a lead, something no team has done since 1950. That has to put a coach’s job in extreme jeopardy.

And in San Diego, where the Chargers are faced with digging themselves out of a deep hole on a yearly basis, the situation is unraveling by the week. Following that epic collapse against the Broncos with a touchdown-free defeat at Cleveland might have sealed Norv Turner’s fate. Something to remember about the Chargers, though, is that owner Dean Spanos has consistently stood by Turner and GM A.J. Smith, and Spanos is absolutely glacial when it comes to making big moves.

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