The Kansas City Chiefs have been handed a brass ring, a golden opportunity, something on a silver platter. Whatever analogy you want to use, the Chiefs have been gifted a way to the top of the AFC West in Week 10.
With a win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday Night Football in primetime, the Chiefs have a chance to go from worst to first in the division—an incredible feat that seems outrageous on the surface given that they’ve been sitting in the divisional basement for so long (and because such a leap sounds ridiculous at first).
Here’s the thing we’ve learned this season, however: The AFC is not a great conference and the AFC West is as competitive as ever. Some teams have clearly benefitted from an early easy schedule (we’re looking at you, Denver Broncos) but every team has also proven wildly inconsistent.
Let’s stay with those same Broncos. Last week, Vic Fangio’s team went to 5-4 after thoroughly dominating the Dallas Cowboys, a team that looks bound for a Super Bowl run. This week, however, they fell to the Philadelphia Eagles and looked just as embarrassed as Jerry Jones’ team did the previous week. What is anyone to think about their playoff chances?
But the Broncos aren’t alone here. The Los Angeles Chargers decided they didn’t want to take advantage of the situation and lost to the Minnesota Vikings, continuing their poor month overall. After starting the season with convincing wins, including one over the Chiefs in Week 3, the Bolts have lost three of their last four now with a lone win over the Eagles to boast about from Week 9.
This means the Chiefs have a real chance in their hands to make the leap from 5-4 in the AFC West basement to be the only team in the division to get that elusive sixth win. That hardly means they’re out of the woods but it means they would be at the top of the division and would be in control of their own destiny with so many games left in the AFC West on the schedule.