Let’s be honest – things look pretty bad for the Kansas City Chiefs. After suffering their third straight defeat at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals and the grossly incompetent NFL officials, the Chiefs currently sit at third in the AFC West standings and on the outside looking in for one of the 6 playoff spots.
The Chiefs could, theoretically, catch Denver if they win out while the Broncos lose out; however, that prospect remains slim. And the Chiefs need help from several other teams just to clinch a Wild Card spot, which likely will not happen at this point, especially in the crowded AFC, which currently has 5 teams with identical 7-6 records, and 3 teams who are 8-5. Although not mathematically eliminated yet, the Chiefs are likely playing the rest of the season for pride.
Right now, the Chiefs own tiebreakers over Buffalo and Cleveland, but sit behind Miami and Houston based on win percentage in conference games. Poor conference play, especially in the second half of the season, has been a trend under Any Reid’s short tenure as the head coach in Kansas City, and is certainly a big reason that the Chiefs are not contending for the AFC West title. Even more discouraging is the fact that in the past two seasons, the Chiefs have dominated their NFC foes, with a record of 6-2, but have looked only slightly better than mediocre in the AFC, posting a 12-9 record. It appears that Andy Reid knows how to beat his former conference but not his new one.
Considering the low odds of making the playoffs this season, the Chiefs might do well to allow their younger and more inexperienced players (Junior Hemingway, Albert Wilson, Dee Ford, Charcandrick West, among others), a chance to showcase their talent more and evaluate whether those players should be given a roster spot and a subsequent training camp invite in 2015 (obviously the Chiefs will bring back Ford, but all of their Wide Receivers should be under the microscope – I personally feel that the Chiefs need a complete overhaul of their receivers since they have been a complete disappointment in every facet this season. But I digress).
A win this weekend against the Raiders will ensure the Chiefs do not have a losing record this season, which would mark the first time since 2005-06 that they would have non-losing records in consecutive seasons. Many sportswriters predicted that the Chiefs ceiling this season was 8-8 (Sam Mellinger of the KC Star had the Chiefs going 6-10). At this point, considering the injuries (Derrick Johnson, Mike DeVito, Mike Catapano), the career setback (Eric Berry), the total lack of wide receiver production, and the ever-changing and very weak secondary and run defense, I would be content with the Chiefs finishing 8-8, 9-7 or even 10-6. With so many AFC teams in the middle of the pack this season, there are bound to be some teams missing the playoffs with 10 wins. For the Chiefs to have any prayer of grabbing a Wild Card, they will need to knock off San Diego and Pittsburgh and take care of business against the Raiders this weekend.
Here’s is hoping for a Chiefs victory on Sunday. Go Chiefs!