The Kansas City Chiefs lost a pivotal AFC matchup to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday by the final score of 34-31. It was one of the more frustrating and painful losses in recent memory. There were plenty of things that happened on the field that led to that pain and frustration, but the biggest reason for it is what this loss means in the AFC standings. This was a game that the Chiefs just couldn’t afford to lose, but unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened.
We’ll get to who and what is to blame for the loss in a moment, but let’s start by laying out the stakes that made this loss so upsetting. The Chiefs, despite their rough start to the season, had scraped and clawed their way back to having control of the number one seed in the AFC. That top seed comes with the one and only first-round bye that gives that team a huge advantage in the playoffs. With the Tennessee Titans beating the Miami Dolphins this loss now hands control of that top seed back to the Titans, a team with a head-to-head win over the Chiefs. With just the Houston Texans remaining on the Titan’s schedule, the top seed and the bye that comes with it is now likely gone for the Chiefs.
That makes this loss especially devastating, especially because it felt like this was a game that the Chiefs were in control of and should have been able to hang on to. I know there were a lot of fans that only wanted to talk about the officiating after the game and I will address that, but just blaming this loss on the refs lets the Chiefs off the hook for several things that were in their control. While part of me wants to just turn the page and move on from this game, I do think it’s important to discuss what KC did that cost them this game so that it can hopefully be addressed and not happen again.
So let’s start this list of reasons that KC lost with the one that had most fans up in arms after the game ended.