Here we are on Sunday searching for how to spend our day while still reeling from an inexcusable loss to the 0-10 Oakland Raiders on Thursday night. We will scour the NFL’s schedule for the day looking at who the Kansas City Chiefs need to lose today. We will think about how Jamaal Charles was one step away from gone Thursday and we will wonder what might have been if Alex Smith would have just thrown Dwayne Bowe the damn ball. We are focusing on the wrong problem though. There is nothing we can do about Thursday and while what happens today is important, it will not solve the Chiefs biggest problem: It doesn’t get any easier from here.
Early in the season I discussed the unpredictability of an NFL schedule due to the parity created by the league. The front end of the Chiefs schedule was seemingly the most difficult part, but here we are after week 12 and the front half was not so formidable and the schedule from here looks tougher than we imagined. Tied with the Denver Broncos going into week 12, we knew the Chiefs needed a win against the Raiders, but looking forward to the schedule ahead they absolutely could not afford to lose that game.
Outside of Oakland, the four of the last five opponents are a combined 29-12 and who still feels confident the Chiefs will beat the Raiders next time at this point? The Chiefs have more to worry about than who wins and loses today, because they are going to have enough trouble themselves coming up. At a minimum it appears that it will take a 9-7 record to get into the AFC playoffs. This means the Chiefs will need to win at least 3 of their next 5 games and they will still need a little help. Three games within the division will not make things any easier either.
From a mental standpoint, the Chiefs could ill afford to lose to a winless team 12 weeks into the season, but today’s results won’t fix the Chiefs problems. As Will Rogers said, “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” The Chiefs really dug themselves a huge hole in the black hole.