Kansas City Chiefs
2nd Place in AFC West
Last Game: lost at home to Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-6) 19-17
Next Game: at Denver Broncos (7-3) Sun, Nov 27, 8:30 EST
The Chiefs-Broncos game got flexed into the Sunday night slot because it means a lot to a lot of teams right now. These two teams currently sit one game behind the Raiders for the AFC West lead. The Chiefs occupy the first wild card spot. The Broncos occupy the second.
The Dolphins, Titans, Colts, Steelers, Ravens, and other AFC playoff hopefuls will be tuning in with a watchful eye. As will the Raiders, of course.
The Chiefs finally lost a game they deserved to lose. After doing just enough to win at the right times basically all season — except for a blowout loss to Pittsburgh and a blowout win over the Raiders — they couldn’t muster enough magic late to beat the Bucs in Arrowhead without Marcus Peters.
They’d won 18 of 20 regular season games. 14 in a row at Arrowhead. They were, at the time, in first place in the AFC West. Yet it always seemed like the other shoe was about to drop.
And Roberto Aguayo’s right one did, to the tune of a Cairo Santos-like four field goals for the win.
I wish I could remember who said it, but the best quote of the weekend, from the funny because it’s true column: “the Bucs out-Chiefed the Chiefs.”
They sure did. They comfortably won time of possession, had excellent third-down efficiency and played sound defense. When they did drive the ball, they mostly stalled but their kicker came through. They got a key turnover at a key time.
The Chiefs have talent, and they are well coached. But as long as Andy Reid and Alex Smith play it safe until they’re forced not to they keep weaker teams in the game. That they won 18 of 20 games is, frankly, a miracle. Not even the Patriots can do that and they’re routinely the gold standard.
Some credit is due, but the curtain got pulled back and Oz is not so great and powerful. We shall see what they have to bring against the Broncos, who will be well-rested and prepared for the Chiefs in a very important divisional tilt.
Whoever loses this game could fall two games behind the Raiders if Oakland wins. Whoever wins could be tied for first if Oakland loses. The divisional race has one game separating three teams. The wild card race has at least six other teams with a stake in this outcome.
The Chiefs are going to have to do a bit more than they have been in recent weeks to win this one.