- Associated Press - Saturday, October 18, 2014

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The bakery the San Diego Chargers have been visiting the past three weeks is closed.

In other words, no more cream puffs.

After fattening up on three bottom-feeders, including two winless teams, Philip Rivers and the surging Chargers (5-1) host Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs.

While the Chiefs (2-3) are sub-.500, it’s an AFC West rivalry and the teams played two close, wild games last season.

Overall, the Chargers’ six opponents this season are 11-22. The past three are 1-16.

Even so, the Chargers got pushed to the limit in winning 31-28 at Oakland last Sunday.

There were big breakdowns on defense and special teams against the Raiders, who were coming off their bye and playing their first game for interim coach Tony Sparano. It took a late offensive surge, as well as rookie Jason Verrett’s win-sealing interception, to secure victory.

So here come the Chiefs, off their bye, presenting a more realistic test to the Chargers, who have won five straight games and share the NFL’s best record with Dallas and Philadelphia.

Cornerback Brandon Flowers, who hopes his groin injury heals enough to allow him to face his former Chiefs teammates, doesn’t quite buy the cream puff theory.

“Every team can be dangerous in this league as you saw last week,” said Flowers, who was hurt against the Raiders. “A record doesn’t matter. I played on a Kansas City team and we were 4-12, but we felt like we had athletes and the skill level to play anybody. That was one of the years we beat Green Bay when they were undefeated.”

Here are some other things to know about the Chiefs and Chargers:

RIVERS STILL ROLLING: Rivers set an NFL record last week with his fifth straight game with a passer rating of 120 or better.

As brilliant as he’s played through six games, Rivers is passing around the praise with the same accuracy as he passes the football.

“I think collectively as a group we are playing good,” he said. “You look at the few amount of drops we’ve had, guys catching the ball, guys up front doing a heck of a job protecting and we had one sack last week, but we are still real low in our sacks.

“We’ve just got to keep it going. As good as a stretch we have been on, we can have a hiccup any day so we got to keep the pressure on.”

RAMBLING ROOKIE: Branden Oliver continues to carry the rushing load for the Chargers in the absence of Ryan Mathews, who’s out indefinitely with a right knee injury, and Donald Brown, who hasn’t been cleared after sustaining a concussion two weeks ago.

Oliver ran for 101 yards and the winning 1-yard touchdown with 1:56 left to help lift the Bolts over the Raiders. He’s the first Chargers rookie since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2001 to have consecutive 100-yard games.

ALEX SMITH: The Chiefs QB plays yet another homecoming game at Qualcomm Stadium. He led Helix High to consecutive San Diego Section championships in his junior and senior years before going to Utah, which at the time was a rival of San Diego State in the Mountain West Conference.

“There’s certainly a familiarity, an interesting feeling,” Smith said. “I’ve been going there since I was a kid. When I was in high school, that was the goal, get to the Q and play in the championship game and I got to do that twice, and then going back and playing there in college as well, so I’ve got a lot of memories over the years.”

JAMAAL CHARLES:

The running back needs 53 yards to pass Priest Holmes (6,070) and become the Chiefs’ career rushing leader. Charles passed Larry Johnson for second place in a loss to San Francisco two weeks ago.

“It will be a great accomplishment to make,” Charles said, “but at the end of the day, I really care about winning. It is hard when you break records and you lose. It doesn’t mean anything. It only means something when you win games with your teammates.”

RECENT HISTORY: The Chiefs and Chargers played two wild games last year, when both advanced to the playoffs.

At Kansas City on Nov. 24, Seyi Ajirotutu caught a 26-yard TD pass from Rivers with 24 seconds left to give the Chargers a 41-38 victory. It ended a three-game losing streak and helped save the Chargers’ season.

In San Diego on Dec. 29, San Diego won 27-24 in overtime to clinch the AFC’s final playoff berth. Having already clinched a wild-card berth, the Chiefs rested 20 of 22 starters.

It still wasn’t easy for the Bolts, who allowed 332 yards and watched Ryan Succop push a 41-yard field goal attempt wide right with 4 seconds left in regulation. The league later said the officials missed a penalty against San Diego that would have given Succop another shot from 5 yards closer.

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Follow Bernie Wilson on Twitter at https://twitter.com/berniewilson

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