After starting off 2-3 and struggling to defend against everyone they played in the first 5 games of the season, the Chiefs look like they have finally gotten themselves together. Does this mean that the Kansas City Chiefs are back and favored to win the AFC again? The AFC has had numerous teams that played red hot – there’s some teams that have been pretty steady and consistent throughout. And then there’s the Chiefs – who started off playing like trash and now over the last 8 games have been playing like a completely different team and shooting for the Super Bowl.
When they played Buffalo back in week 5 – I think that the vast majority of fans were thinking they were going to be done. Mahomes lost his edge, teams have figured him out, their defense was about as good as a paperhouse. The word was out, chalk up this season as a one-off and start looking forward to next year.
The Chiefs – who have been so reliant on Patrick Mahomes throwing for 450 and 5 touchdowns in a game – that their defense really was never needed as much. But now, with Mahomes not lighting up the field like he has been known to do, the team has needed to put in that extra effort. In some ways they’ve matured as a team. When Mahomes was putting up his obnoxious numbers and the Chiefs were winning 42 – 37 didn’t need to worry about their D as much.
But now, they might need to win 13-10, which changes a team’s mentality and dynamic. Mahomes has not been the unstoppable force that we have seen in the past. He’s still a top ended QB, but he hasnt struck the wide eyed terror quite as much in DBs like he did. His season has been very good with 33 TDs, which is 4th in the NFL and a 59.1 QBR, putting him at 7th – but this year has been different – and we all know it. So if they get lit up for 39, I don’t think that they can possibly feel quite as comfortable with him having to put up 40. Not saying that he can’t, but that they don’t feel as confident as they have seasons past, as he has been far more turnover prone than he ever has.
Bottom line is this, the Kansas City Chiefs are not the offensive titans that they have been in past years. They certainly still have a lot of explosiveness on offense with Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, particularly. But they don’t have to rely on it. They have become in some ways a better team because of that. Their defense has played exceptionally – and knowing their D can keep a team to 20 or less – I certainly would feel pretty confident that their offense can score enough.
They’ve been able to handle the Packers and the Chargers, who became fan favorites this year. And when the dust settles, I trust Andy Reid over the majority of coaches in the AFC. The AFC has several good teams, but if we’re being truthful, there aren’t really any other great teams to challenge Kansas City. The New England Patriots have been surprisingly good, but do you trust Mac Jones to be the man right now? The Tennessee Titans are a bit underrated, but have struggled greatly vs the pass. And the Bengals have looked like they are on the way – but this team lacks experience, and the Bills really have shown they lack a running game.
Having a defense that has been able to stop teams has been the key, they have been giving up just 12.28 points per game since week 9. And they do still have this young 26 yr old quarterback named Patrick Mahomes who still is pretty darn good.
Do I trust Mahomes to lead the Chiefs to 25 or more points?
Do I trust Kansas City’s defense to be able to keep a team below 25?
I fully expect Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs to come out of the AFC this year and the odds on favorite for the Super Bowl.