A Pivotal Week For the Kansas City Chiefs
A win in Denver puts the Chiefs at 4-5 with what appears to be as friendly a schedule as you can get in the NFL.
In the AFC of 2015, 4-5 is firmly in the wild card race. 3-6 is not where you want to be under any circumstances in mid November. Admittedly, catching Denver is going to be tough assuming Peyton Manning stays healthy, but a wild card berth is very much in play. All AFC second place teams currently have at least four losses.
The Chiefs already hold the tie breaker over 5-4 Pittsburgh and those other teams will tend to beat each other up. Sort of like what tends to happen in the SEC on Saturdays.
How would the Chiefs get into the playoffs? By continuing the solid play we saw against Pittsburgh and Detroit. Offense starts with the offensive line. The adjustments made up front for the Steeler game were effective and the good, solid play continued against the Lions. Sure, Detroit has their problems but those problems are not among the d-linemen and linebackers. Defense hasn’t been a significant problem. It’s great to see the Chiefs playing solid defense and getting good work out of the special teams. Avoiding additional major injuries is another must.
After getting stuck with very solid opponents playing top shelf football in the first month, the schedule shifts in the Chiefs favor for the balance of the season. After Denver, the Chiefs have two games with San Diego. The Chargers are struggling and are not very good at this point. I can’t see that changing any time soon either.
Buffalo is 5-4 and that game is at Arrowhead. Bills QB Tyrod Taylor hasn’t been to Arrowhead and first timers do not do well there. Brett Farve, Kurt Warner, Russell Wilson and a host of others had very difficult afternoons or evenings on their first visit to Arrowhead.
Oakland is 4-4, but we’re talking about the Raiders here. And we’re not talking about the Raiders of the 20th century. The Raiders will find ways to lose. The little things that lose football games will be their downfall.
In the last four weeks of the season, the Chiefs home games with San Diego, Oakland and Cleveland. Also on the schedule is a trip to Baltimore. This is 2015, not 2012. No Ray Lewis, no Haloti Ngata, no Ed Reed, no Terrell Suggs. Ravens have dropped a long way since their Super Bowl trip.
Two games with California teams at Arrowhead in the cold of December and a home game with Cleveland is about as friendly as you can get for the Chiefs.
First things first. They need to get into a position to take advantage of the last four games on that schedule. A win Sunday in Denver goes a long way toward being in that position.