Kansas City Chiefs ugly win keeps them sitting pretty in AFC

Kansas City Chiefs struggled in many areas against the Detroit Lions in Week 4, but winning ugly games is part of finishing high at the end of the season.

We can all agree that the win for the Kansas City Chiefs over the Detroit Lions on Sunday was far from ideal. However, every season for every team features such ugly games, and these are the games that the best teams find ways to win. Despite four fumbles (3 lost), the offense not being in sync for most of the game, and the defense giving up numerous big plays, the Chiefs found a way to rally together and create an impressive game-winning drive to close out the game and improve to 4-0 on the season.

While fans in Kansas City have grown accustomed to near perfection from their star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, it doesn’t mean that he won’t have off days. Even on an off day where Mahomes threw for zero touchdowns and ended his impressive and historical streak of 14 consecutive games throwing at least two touchdowns, the team still found a way to put up 34 points and get the win.

Despite the defense giving up some big plays that had fans running to social media to yell about how the team needs to trade the farm for a cornerback, the unit still made plays when the team needed them—something we couldn’t say a season ago. After a historically bad season for defense in 2018, fans discussed all off-season how just a 20-25 ranked defense would get this team to the Super Bowl. Yet, everyday fans are criticizing this defense like the expectations are top 10.

The fact of the matter is, every team is going to have its weaknesses on the roster and rebuilding an entire unit and instilling a new scheme will take some time and patience. With all of the talk about getting the young guys playing time so they can develop, fans sure seem to be impatient the second a young player makes a mistake calling for his head. We all do it, especially in the heat of the moment when the game is on the line.

Kansas City’s defense was still able to get off the field on third down only allowing first downs on 5 of 13 attempts and 2 of 5 on downs inside the 10-yard line. Even on a day that Mahomes and the offense were out of sync and Matthew Stafford proved that he is still a good quarterback, the defense was able to still do just enough to get the offense over the hump.

It’s not like the Chiefs were the only ones to have a bad day among the top teams in the AFC. New England finished a win over the Buffalo Bills thanks to a tipped pass that was picked off to wind down the clock and take the 16-10 victory. While arguably the best quarterback of all-time Tom Brady threw for only 150 yards and an interception, I don’t see anyone worrying about the Patriots moving forward.

As we all settle down and come back to reality, the Chiefs are still sitting comfortably in the AFC following the Week 4 games. With the Chiefs and Patriots as the lone undefeated teams in the AFC, fans can relax a little and remember that it’s September football. The AFC West has struggled through September as well giving the Chiefs cushion in their own division.

Shocker, the Los Angeles Chargers struggle early in the season. The Chargers have suffered numerous injuries early as they consistently do and finished 2-2 to start the year. Keep in mind that the Chargers lost in Week 2 against the Lions 13-10. The Oakland Raiders had some resurgence finding a win against the Indianapolis Colts who were without their top two wide receivers T.Y. Hilton and Devin Funchess and starting three rookies on defense. The Denver Broncos continue to spiral downward to 0-4 on the season after losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars at home on Sunday.

When looking outside of the division for competition for top seeding spots in the playoffs, the rest of the AFC has gotten off to a slow first quarter. While the Cleveland Browns were crowned for their off-season moves as potential Super Bowl candidates, they have not looked good until Week 4 when their offense put up 40 points against their division rivals, the Baltimore Ravens. Despite the talks about the Ravens being a top candidate following two of the easiest games to start the season, they have regressed back to the norm since facing two respectable teams.

The DeShaun Watson-led Houston Texans have yet to run away with the AFC South following Andrew Luck’s retirement falling to the Kyle Allen led Carolina Panthers on Sunday making them 2-2 on the season. Tennessee has been inconsistent as usual winning games they aren’t expected to and losing games they shouldn’t sitting at 2-2 as well. The entire South division is sitting at 2-2 and each team has major questions moving forward.

Week 4 was an odd week for NFL football that will likely have many fan bases overreacting. I’m not here to tell you that the Chiefs don’t have things that need cleaned up or improved moving forward. The point of all of this is to remind everyone that every team has bad games in a season and the Chiefs were not only able to put together a win on one of their ugliest days under Patrick Mahomes, but they weren’t the only top teams having an off day yesterday.

Four quarterbacks that were backups coming into Week 1, three of which were rookies, two of which were mid to late-round picks, won games for their teams. The Chiefs will continue to grow as the season still has three-quarters of football left to be played. I expect improvements to continue on both sides of the ball and we will continue to discuss but try not to panic and enjoy the fact that your quarterback was able to lead a team that was falling apart on an off day and carries them to victory.

How often as a Chiefs fan have you been able to say that?

Next: The lessons learned from Chiefs v. Lions