Chiefs Can Make A Statement

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Nov 2, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) catches a pass for a touchdown during the first half against the New York Jets at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another win. It really cannot be said enough just how impressive this in-season turn around has been for the Kansas City Chiefs, taking a worrisome 0-2 and persevering their way to a 5-3 record at the halfway mark of the season. The Chiefs very much have the look of a playoff team, and given the style of football the team has incorporated on their way to doing so, look to be a dangerous one at that. Confidence is soaring in Chiefs Kingdom, and it should be; this team has what it needs to make a deep playoff run this year.

It would seem that a lot of people outside of the Chiefs fan base have yet to receive this memo. The Chiefs are one of four teams in the AFC sitting at a 5-3 record. The Chiefs are in the company of the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, and Miami Dolphins. This is largely one of the reasons the Chiefs have yet to garner any real consideration as a playoff dark horse.

Look at the teams mentioned above, and you’ll notice a trend. All (with perhaps the exception of the Dolphins) are teams that are outperforming national expectations. All teams have relatively talented rosters, filled with young talent waiting to prove themselves. Most importantly though, all of these teams are not expected to make the playoffs.

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The Browns are third in the AFC North, which has shockingly become the most competitive division in football. All four teams have five wins apiece, and each of the Browns’ divisional rivals have flashed something on field to make them look dominant. Early in the season Cincinnati seemed destined to grab the division title and run with it. Then, the Ravens quickly began playing strong football, and it seemed as though it would be a two-team race for first place. And that was before Ben Roethlisberger threw for 862 yards and 12 touchdowns with no interceptions in his last two outings. To summarize, the Browns chose a bad year to be good, because it would seem every team in their division is still better.

The road to the playoffs is a little less complicated for the Dolphins and Bills. Both teams are more than likely going to finish behind the AFC East first place Patriots, who after a rocky start to the season (and a total collapse against Kansas City) have rebounded to become one of the strongest teams in the NFL. Both Miami and Buffalo are largely hedging their bets on wildcard entries into the playoffs, something that is becoming increasingly hard to obtain in the tight AFC.

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Out of the two, I’d wager that Buffalo holds the most impressive win, having beaten a very good Detroit Lions team Week 5. This may come as a surprise to some, given that the Dolphins just embarrassed Kansas City’s division rivals down in San Diego to the tune of 37-0, but recent weeks have led me to an important revelation: the Chargers weren’t everything their record indicated. The second half of the season will most likely play host to a complete and utter collapse for the Chargers, who have already lost their second place standing in the AFC West to Kansas City.

Regardless, the point with these two teams is that while both are playing well, neither is very likely to make the playoffs. I’d give Miami the nod over Buffalo, primarily because Buffalo is relying on Kyle Orton at QB, but three of the four teams in the AFC North are playing better than both of these teams, as is Kansas City. A wildcard berth seems all but impossible for these teams barring drastic changes to the rest of the playoff landscape.

So how does this effect the Kansas City Chiefs?