The Kansas City Chiefs are a tough team to figure. At 10-5, nobody is going to call this team a world-beater, but in the same vein, nobody will claim it to be a porous group.
Kansas City’s season has been well-documented, going from a disaster to a dream over the last nine games. If the AFC playoff picture holds to form in Week 17, the Chiefs will be taking on the Houston Texans in the Wild Card round at NRG Stadium. In Week 1, Kansas City throttled Houston in a 27-20 win that was nowhere near the final score.
Of course, the Chiefs know better than anybody that the first week was a long, long time ago.
Kansas City has not won a playoff game since 1993, so the confidence level of the fan base can be accurately measured as high yet terrified. That is what happens when the team has won nine straight games but the franchise has consistently screwed over everybody.
Going into these playoffs, the expectations of the Chiefs are all over the map. Some believe that Kansas City is the best team in the AFC and could make a run to the Super Bowl. Others see a flawed group that has gone on a long winning streak against bad teams, and sometimes had to barely hold on.
As for this writer, I see a team with flaws but also major strengths. In short, I see a team that could make it out of the AFC for two reasons. First, the Chiefs have a great, great defense. Second, the competition does not present any team that looks anything approaching unbeatable.
The New England Patriots are likely going to have home-field advantage throuhgout the postseason, and they have all kinds of problems. New England can’t pass protect, has no ability to run the ball and struggles to generate consistent pressure without blitzing.
The Denver Broncos are probably going to earn the other bye week, and they have one of the worst offenses and front lines in football. The Chiefs have already clowned them in their building, and sans five turnovers, waxed them in Week 2. Kansas City is a better team than Denver, and both teams know it.
Look around the rest of this group, and you see talented but flawed teams. The Cincinnati Bengals have had no success in recent postseason trips and could be starting a backup quarterback. The Houston Texans are barely over .500 despite playing in the worst division the NFL has to offer. The New York Jets are actually a dangerous team, but Ryan Fitzpatrick remains a question mark and they likely will be on the road for the duration.
Kansas City could absolutely lose in the first round to anybody, but it could just as easily be playing in Santa Clara a month from now.
The Chiefs are going to put us all through the wringer. What a beautiful scenario considering where this team once was.