The sky is falling. The season is over. The dreams are crushed. When it comes to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021, the oft-spoken narrative after Week 7 is that Patrick Mahomes and company are cooked and that a team that was once talking about winning 20 games is now destined to miss the postseason.
While some are inclined to believe in that worst-case scenario, others of us aren’t so sure. That’s not to say the Chiefs don’t have myriad issues to address or that they haven’t looked outright embarrassing. They absolutely have. The most recent loss to the Tennessee Titans was enough to make anyone turn the game off and decide to start up a bad habit or two.
But here’s the thing: there are reasons to believe the Chiefs can still get this done. In fact, there are multiple reasons. If that sounds silly, I understand. The defense is a dumpster fire and the offense has looked shaky. The Chiefs are shooting themselves in the foot on multiple plays each game, and some of the team’s best players are turning in odd seasons.
That said, some of us are still believers. And in a good faith effort to try to convince you to take heart, we offer up a few reasons why you can still keep the faith about these Chiefs.
The AFC is broken
Look, someone has to win this thing.
The Baltimore Ravens were the first AFC contender to take down the Chiefs, but they were just steamrolled—absolutely steamrolled—by the Cincinnati Bengals and the Las Vegas Raiders also own a win over the Ravens from Week 1. Meanwhile, the Ravens themselves stomped the Los Angeles Chargers, the very next team to beat the Chiefs, and the Dallas Cowboys also beat Justin Herbert and company.
The Buffalo Bills were the next team in the conference to beat the Chiefs in Week 5 and put the first real defeat on their record, but they’ve lost twice themselves to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans. Then again, the Titans have lost to the Arizona Cardinals and then, incredibly, to the New York Jets. Yes, the Jets.
As for other division leaders, the Bengals and the Las Vegas Raiders have both lost to the Chicago Bears of all teams. The former has also lost to the Green Bay Packers, while the latter was taken down by the Chargers.
Here’s the truth about the AFC: no team is elite. Not a single team can stand and look down at the others. There are competitive tiers, to be sure, but if the Chiefs are somehow able to fix one or two flaws exhibited so far this season, things will look a lot different from them moving forward in a conference where every team has at least two losses in seven games (or six, if they’ve had the bye week).
“Everyone else is broken” might sound like a lame reason to celebrate, but it means the Chiefs aren’t remotely out of it in this playoff chase.