Pivotal game at Arrowhead has Brandon Flowers pumped

SAN DIEGO -- Brandon Flowers expects some anxiety and a few butterflies during warm-ups in his first trip back to Arrowhead Stadium since joining his new team, the San Diego Chargers.

But once he settles in and figures out where the visitors’ locker room is, Flowers says it will be a business trip in facing his former team the Kansas City Chiefs, with the focus on getting a victory so the Chargers can advance to the playoffs for a second straight year.

“I’m pretty sure it’s going to be weird, being on the opposite side of the sidelines,” Flowers said. “But once the game starts, all of that goes out of the window. It’s more warm-ups, and just seeing all of the guys that I haven’t seen in a while.

“It’s an intense game. It’s a rivalry game, with whoever wins [having a chance] to go to the playoffs. It’s going to be live, and I can’t wait.”

Flowers lived up to his end of the bargain for San Diego, signing a one-year, $3 million deal this offseason about a month before training camp began in June. He leads the Chargers in interceptions (three) and pass breakups (13) this season, and has been a valuable addition because of his experience and playmaking ability. Flowers has missed two games due to a groin injury and a concussion.

“What he’s meant to us has been everything,” Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano said. “He’s a special player. He’s someone who has the ability to take over games and shut people down. Probably the only bad thing is he didn’t get a chance to do it game after game because of the injuries and whatnot.

“But any chance we get him back in the lineup, it’s always special. I know it’s a big homecoming for him going back there. He’s focused, and ready to roll.”

Chargers head coach Mike McCoy said Flowers’ leadership and production have been important additions to San Diego’s defense this season. The Chargers are No. 6 in the NFL in pass defense, allowing just 219 passing yards a contest. San Diego has given up just five passing plays of 40-plus yards, tied for third best in the league.

“He’s not only a good leader, but a good football player from the very first time he stepped in the huddle,” McCoy said. “He’s done a very good job. The first snap he went in there, you could just hear his leadership -- the way he was talking to everybody and the way he wanted to practice. And then you have his production on the field.”