Since the Kansas City Chiefs did not play this Sunday, I was watching plenty of other teams around the league. In the office, we had a trio of games on including the San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars.
Throughout the afternoon, there was one common theme: All of these teams are very beatable.
New England looks to be the best team in the conference. The defense is certainly mediocre, but the combination of Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady, Julian Edelman and Bill Belichick is no joke.
Everybody else is either middling or not of playoff caliber. The Chargers look like the same team they have been over the past two seasons. They have a good passing game but a hit-and-miss rushing attack and a lousy defense. The Bengals are still led by Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis, and are without a capable pass-rush. Buffalo has an incredible defensive front, but the back seven and offense leave plenty to be desired.
Finally, the Dolphins have struggled mightily against the Washington Redskins and Jaguars. Then you factor in the Baltimore Ravens looking like hot garbage over the first two weeks, and you see a conference that is beyond wide open.
While the Chiefs are still licking their emotional wounds a bit, let’s take real stock of where this team is. At 1-1, they are a game back of the Denver Broncos in the AFC West. Kansas City, which has long been outgunned by Denver, turned the ball over five times and it still took a miracle to lose. For once, it doesn’t feel crazy to think the Chiefs can beat the Broncos on the road.
The next two games are major challenges for Kansas City. The Chiefs go on the road to take on the Green Bay Packers and then the Bengals on a short week. If Kansas City can simply split, it is in great shape. The following four games are home to the Chicago Bears, at the Minnesota Vikings, hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers and a neutral-site contest versus the Detroit Lions. There is no reason to lose any of those games.
Last week was rough, but it doesn’t change the obvious. Kansas City is a very good team in a conference begging to be taken.