Over the next five weeks the Kansas City Chiefs have a golden opportunity to grab the AFC West by the throat and choke it to death.
Right now the West is anybody’s division. While the Chiefs are 3-2 they only hold a game and a half lead over the 2-4 Chargers, Broncos and Raiders.
Things are close now, but before you know it the Chiefs may have a lead so big that Philip Rivers will have to throw his temper tantrums at home on his couch instead of on the football field come playoff time.
You see, even thought the Chiefs have lost two straight, their fast start has provided them with a substantial cushion while the rest of the division has squandered chance after chance.
What effect will all this have going forward? We’ll take a look after the jump.
At this point, I would have to say KC’s biggest competition in the division is the San Diego Chargers. Despite their bumbling first six games, San Diego is still extremely dangers on offense. Because of this, there are still some out there that believe the Chargers will still win the division.
“The Chargers always start off slow but finish strong,” they moan. They may be right about the Chargers always starting slow but I don’t know if they are right about them turning things around.
Take a look at San Diego’s next five games:
The only thing the Chargers have going for them here is that their next two games against the Patriots and Titans are at home where they have played extremely well this season.
Still, you have to believe that unless San Diego quickly turns things around, they are going to lose at least two of those five games.
If they do, that would put them at 5-6 with five games to play. And the way the Chargers are playing that could be a best case scenario. 4-7 or even 3-8 is a very real possibility.
What about the Chiefs?
Over the next 5 weeks, the Chiefs have the following games:
Looks a lot less intimidating doesn’t it? If the Chiefs can take care of business at home and steal one of their divisional road games against the Broncos or Raiders, they will be sitting at 7-3.
In the end, it may be the Broncos that keep the heat on KC. The Broncos have a much more favorable schedule the rest of the way than the Chargers.
I don’t want to totally discount the Raiders here either because there is some talent there but they still have games against the Steelers, Chiefs, Chargers and Colts to go and they are having major QB issues.
In the end, however, it will all come down to how the Chiefs play. If Kansas City can merely take care of business in the AFC West they will likely qualify for the post season. If they can manage to sweep both the Raiders and Broncos, even if they lose to the Chargers in San Diego, they will have at least 7 wins.
The Chiefs are in the driver’s seat and they have a lot of open road in front of them. The learning period is over. The team knows what it takes to win and they know how easily losing focus can cause them to lose.
It’s time to step on the gas.