Chiefs’ second half: Setting up a wild card run

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Sep 28, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Jeff Allen (71), center Mitch Morse (61), offensive tackle Eric Fisher (72) and guard Ben Grubbs (66) watch the final minutes of the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

In the Trenches

Both of the Kansas City lines have made improvements over the course of the season to this point. The defensive line has contributed to the Russian defense consistently and the defensive ends Allen Bailey, Jaye Howard and Mike DeVito have been a presence in 2015 that Bob Sutton’s defense has not had to this point in Kansas City. The defensive front seven has set up the secondary for success.

The offensive line has been the roller coaster of the 2015 Chiefs. This unit is a conundrum. They are currently playing their best football of the season with their top player on the bench with an injury. Ben Grubbs has been ruled out for week 11 once again. The patchwork lineup that includes Jah Reid at right tackle is solidifying into the unit that will make this playoff run.

Jeff Allen’s return to line up has been the catalyst and it was just in time. Ben Grubbs mysterious injury is dragging on and it can not be called a certainty that he will return at all this season. If Grubbs is sidelined for the rest of 2015, Jeff Allen is its new anchor. Alan has provided the attitude, athleticism and work ethic to lead this group’s upswing. They will need him in particular against Buffalo and Baltimore, who have top-10 rushing defenses.

Bottom line

As the remainder of the schedule for the regular season unwinds, the Chiefs have positioned themselves to go on a streak. The team is currently one game behind the Buffalo Bills for the final wild card slot.  Rex Ryan will bring his Bills to Arrowhead on Nov. 29. That game should be circled. It will be the Chiefs chance to take the wildcard lead and it will be Bob Sutton’s rematch with his mentor in Ryan.

The defense has allowed no more than 18 points in the last 5 contests. The offensive score 23 or more in the last three games.  So long as those trends continue or widen the gap, Kansas City should have a trip to take on Jan. 9. It starts in San Diego against Philip Rivers and the patchwork Charger lineup. Nothing is a given in the AFC West, but San Diego is a good place to start this year.

Enjoy the game, Addicts.

You can find me on twitter @RyanTracyNFLI’ll have live, in-game observations of the Chiefs-Chargers.