Here’s why Kansas City Chiefs fans shouldn’t lose hope

ArmchairAddict1 /

I’m not going to lie to you my fellow Kansas City Chiefs fans.

That was another painful loss.

The Dallas Cowboys controlled 90% of the game on Sunday in route to a 28-17 win. A Chiefs offense that was supposed to be able to pick on a mediocre Dallas defense couldn’t even muster 20 points while the defense couldn’t make a meaningful stop when the game was on the line in the second half. The Chiefs have lost three of their last four games and the magic of their 5-0 start seems long gone.

Am I cheering you up yet?

Look, the Kansas City Chiefs are in a slump. That is undeniable. The Chiefs may have won on Monday Night Football last week but our fears of that win being more about the ineptitude of the Denver Broncos than the play of the Chiefs were confirmed as they were outmatched by the Cowboys this week. The tale of the 2017 Kansas City Chiefs has consisted of two chapters so far. The first chapter was the Chiefs amazing 5-0 start where they not only won games but looked like a legit Super Bowl contender in the process. The second chapter has not been kind to the Chiefs as they have failed to put together a single solid game as they’ve gone just 1-3 with the lone win being the aforementioned Broncos game.

It would be ignorant at this point to ignore the past four games and simply claim that the 2017 Kansas City Chiefs are the team that went 5-0 and that they are still a favorite to go to the Super Bowl. That having been said, I’m seeing too many Chiefs fans that are now set on defining the 2017 Chiefs strictly off their disappointing second chapter of the season. That’s natural, given that it is the chapter that we have just seen play out in front of us. The agony of those games is still fresh in our mind.

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The Kansas City Chiefs now enter their bye week with a chance to close their disastrous second chapter and start fresh on the next one. We as fans are largely a reactionary lot. The team plays great, we think they’re great. The team plays bad, we think they’re bad. Do the Chiefs have legit problems that they need to address? Certainly .The past four games have proven that. Do the Chiefs have the big time playmakers to compete with any team in the league? Certainly. The first five games proved that.

The Chiefs final seven games will tell another story. It may be a return to the success of the first chapter of the season, it could be more of the frustrations from the second chapter, or it could be a combination of the two. Then again, it could be an entire new story that he haven’t seen yet this season.

So what should we expect coming out of the Chiefs much needed bye?

Well, the schedule does favor the Chiefs.

During the first nine games of the season the Chiefs opponents have a combined record of 41-32 for a winning percentage of .562. Their final seven opponents are a combined 23-33 for a winning percentage of .411 (that doesn’t take into account the Sunday night game that is on as I’m writing this). In addition to facing teams with overall worse records, the caliber of offenses they will face will be much worse as well. In their first nine games they faced four of the top ten scoring offenses (New England, Philadelphia, Houston, and Dallas). In their final seven games the highest scoring offense they face is the Buffalo Bills who are ranked 15th in the NFL as I write this. Not only do they not face high scoring offenses, four of their final seven opponents are in the bottom ten in the NFL in scoring (Giants, Chargers, Dolphins, and Broncos). So the defensive unit that so many people are expressing doubt about now is primed for a bounce back.

Momentum matters in the NFL. Yes, it is concerning that the Chiefs have struggled in the past four games. The Chiefs MUST work to improve in several areas on both sides of the ball. The good news is they have a schedule that allows that to be very possible. While you’d feel better going into the playoffs having recently proved themselves against playoff caliber opponents, if the Chiefs end up getting hot down the stretch they will still be an incredibly dangerous team to face in January.

Another reason you have to like the Chiefs chances is that they have proved that they just don’t lose to bad quarterbacks. You have to go back over a year to week two of 2016 to find the last time that the Chiefs lost to a bad quarterback when they lost to the Brock Osweiler lead Texans 19-12 in Houston. Here’s the quarterbacks they will face down the stretch (assuming these guys all stay healthy):

  • Eli Manning
  • Tyrod Taylor
  • Josh McCown
  • Derek Carr
  • Philip Rivers
  • Jay Cutler
  • Whatever dumpster fire Denver runs out there

Just to put into perspective the quarterback play discrepancy, the QBs that the Chiefs played in the first nine games have combined for 130 touchdown passes so far this season while the QBs they will face in the final seven games have combined for just 77 (again not counting any thrown in the Sunday night game).

You may feel like the Chiefs have no shot based on the team you have seen the past four weeks, but who knows how you will feel after the next seven games. I know what some of you are thinking, “It doesn’t matter what they do the next seven games because this team isn’t going anywhere in the playoffs!”

Again, that’s based on these past four games. I get that seeing them struggle against teams like the Steelers, Raiders, and Cowboys is worrisome when looking ahead to the playoffs. However, wins over the Patriots and Eagles are just as encouraging as those loses were deflating.

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The Chiefs need to fix things over the bye week. Andy Reid (despite his faults) is one of the best coaches in the NFL. I trust him to get this team back on track after the bye week. If the team can get hot again down the stretch, who knows what will happen in the playoffs. They have three dynamic playmakers on offense in Tyreek Hill (whose touchdown before halftime was one of the best plays I have ever seen), Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt. They have two All-Pro defensive players in Justin Houston and Marcus Peters. They have a quarterback that is having a career year and is playing for his future as a starter in this league. You put that all together and you have a team that can make a run in the playoffs if they get hot.

Let’s hope that’s exactly what happens after the bye.

As always, thanks for reading and Go Chiefs!