Three reasons the Chiefs win over the Steelers was a game changer
The Chiefs are winning the games they were supposed to lose
Predicting the NFL season is a near impossible task. Some teams are always worse than they looked on paper and others surprise everyone and win more than was predicted. However, you can still usually look over your favorite team’s schedule and identify some of the more challenging games.
For the Chiefs this season most of those challenges are in the first six weeks. Those six weeks include road games against the other two best teams in the division (the Chargers and the Denver Broncos), as well as road games against two of the AFC’s perennial playoff powers (the Steelers and Patriots).
The only home games in that stretch are next week’s home opener against the up and coming San Francisco 49ers and a matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars who made it all the way to the AFC title game last season and sport arguably the best defense in the NFL.
With the Chiefs leaning on a first-time starting quarterback, it was expected that the Chiefs would take some lumps early. Then, as Mahomes got more experience and the schedule lightened up down the stretch, the Chiefs would have a chance to make up some ground. The Chargers were the favorites to win the division. The Steelers and Patriots favored to be the class of the AFC again. Now all three of those teams have loses on the young season, and two of them came at the hand of the Chiefs.
That’s a game changer. The Chiefs are not going to have to rely on playing catch up down the stretch. Even if they do drop a couple of the upcoming tough games over the next four weeks they have still set themselves up nicely to control their own destiny in the AFC. They have a one game lead in the division over the Chargers with a head to head win in Los Angeles. They have a one game lead over the Steelers in the AFC with a head-to-head win in Pittsburgh. That’s huge going forward.
The Chiefs are still trying to get their defense together. It’s been rough as we already addressed. The fact that they are winning road games against some of their prime competition while they are trying to figure their defense out is all the more impressive.
The really scary part for the rest of the NFL is that this offense is still just starting to come together. Patrick Mahomes only has three starts. While the numbers don’t seem possible, he should only continue to get better! Sammy Watkins had a great game on Sunday but it was only his second game in this offense. He should only get better. The offensive line has done a nice job protecting Mahomes and they should only continue to gel and get better as the season goes on.
If this team that already has two great road wins under its belt continues to improve, they could have a real chance at a first round bye and possibly even home field advantage in the playoffs (assuming the defense doesn’t derail them).
Finally, let’s get to the most exciting game changing element of this win over the Steelers.