The Kansas City Chiefs appear to have turned a corner. As winners of four straight heading into the bye week, having defeated both the Packers and the Cowboys, the Chiefs look poised for another strong end to the season and a deep playoff run.
The team isn’t out of the woods yet. Parallel to their mid-season resurgence a number of other teams in the AFC have improved dramatically. In order for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to return to the Super Bowl this season, these are arguably the four teams they will have to overcome.
New England Patriots
The 2021 New England Patriots appear to be a dramatically improved team from the one that played in 2020. They were one of the most aggressive teams in free agency this past offseason, and while most of the players they signed weren’t “elite,” they seem to have made a major impact.
Through 12 games the Patriots are sitting at a very competitive 8-4. While their schedule has been a soft one through this point in the season, they have won six straight games outscoring opponents by a whopping 87 points.
Their final stretch includes two matchups with the Buffalo Bills, one with the Indianapolis Colts, and one with the Miami Dolphins. These teams will arguably be the most talented or hottest teams the Patriots have faced all season. If they are able to win three out of those four games and beat the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars, it’s hard not to assume they’ll be competing for the top-seed heading into the playoffs.