Oct 19, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos (5) and teammates watch as his field goal sails through the uprights to beat the San Diego Chargers 23-20 at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The Chiefs game yesterday was shaky. Dropped passes hurt us, and penalties, no matter how
questionable, threatened to derail the team. Things need to be cleaned up. That being said, the Chiefs are playing very good football right now, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The remainder of our schedule is manageable at worst, a cake-walk at best. Things are looking very bright for Chiefs football this year.
Assuming these mistakes get rectified, the playoffs will start to look less like a pipe dream and more like a reality as the season progresses. Sure, the division is starting to look unobtainable without winning out, thanks in part to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos doing that thing they do where they win the most boring games on television (did you watch that San Fran game? Yawn). Still, at least one of the AFC wildcard playoff spots is going to come out of the AFC West, considering the immense talent and two quality teams playing underneath Denver. It’s starting to look like the Chiefs could edge out San Diego for this wildcard spot, leaving the Chargers again scrambling for the second wildcard spot in the conference.
Especially considering that San Diego, despite a 5-1 start before the game, hardly looked dominating. Expect them to drop more than a few games to superior competition, which they’ll have no shortage of in the coming weeks. Seriously, compare the road ahead between the two teams:
The 3-3 Chiefs play:
STL, NYJ, @BUF, SEA, @OAK, DEN, @AZ, OAK, @PIT, SD
In this schedule, only three games standout to me; those would be the match-ups between Seattle, Denver, and Arizona. Thankfully, we play Seattle in Arrowhead, and if you’ve watched Seattle this season, you’ve probably noticed that they’re not as defensively dominating as they were last year. We also face Denver at home, and thanks to the game before that being a Thursday Night affair against the Oakland Raiders, the team will have ten days to rest up for it. Finally, we face the Cardinals in Arizona. This game will likely be tricky, as the Cardinals are playing good football right now. Thankfully, this game is far enough down the schedule that any number of things can change between now and then.
The 5-2 Chargers, meanwhile, play:
@DEN, @MIA, OAK, STL, @BAL, NE, DEN, @SF, @KC
That’s a far less forgiving stretch of schedule for San Diego. Where I see three problem games for Kansas City out of their remaining ten, I only see three games I’m willing to bet now the Chargers win in their last nine. Miami, Oakland, and St. Louis will likely provide the Chargers with wins, but I could easily see them losing to every other team they face. New England is back to being New England. Baltimore is quietly putting together a fantastic season. San Francisco is struggling right now, but it’s easy to see them put things together towards the end of the season. Denver and Kansas City are both tough divisional rivals the Chargers will have to fight through. It’s going to be rough for San Diego.
When taking this into account, it’s easy to see why the Chiefs could very well overtake San Diego in the division, therefore likely clinching a playoff spot in the process. Don’t settle for less than the playoffs, folks, because frankly, we should be going.