Who should KC Chiefs fans root for in Week 5?

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 23: Kansas City Chiefs fans cheer during the AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 23: Kansas City Chiefs fans cheer during the AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

With the Chiefs not playing on Sunday, the Kingdom has some time to pass. Who should Chiefs fans be rooting for while they await Monday Night Football?

The energy that pairs with big games tends to keep the eyes of Chiefs Kingdom glued to the clock ahead of the weekend. The days leading up to kickoff on Raiders week, however, always pass by exceptionally slow. On this go-around, with the Chiefs and Raiders squaring off on Monday Night Football, the wait is even longer. One way for Chiefs fans to survive the slowly ticking clock of the weekend standing between them and the Week 5 nightcap is to invest heavily in Sunday’s action.

The Chiefs are one of only three teams in the AFC sitting at 3-1 ahead of this week, but if you’ve kept a pulse on things thus far, you’re aware of the level of competition throughout the conference. There are a number of teams who could benefit the Chiefs by adding another early-season loss to their record. The AFC is riddled with talented teams and the stretch run to playoff seeding is likely to come down to just a couple of games difference. With the Kingdom relaxing on Sunday, here are the teams we should all be rooting for.

1. Cincinnati Bengals

I know this is a tall order, considering the Bengals were the Achilles heel of the 2021 Chiefs. It’s near impossible to make definitive conclusions about teams this early in the season, but these Bengals seem to be significantly inferior to the Bengals of yesteryear. On Sunday, they face off with the Baltimore Ravens who—again, way too early to be certain, but—seem to have rediscovered their identity.

The Ravens’ roster was decimated by injuries last season, and the world forgot about just how tough they are. Lamar Jackson appears to be back in MVP-contending form, J.K. Dobbins is panning out exactly as expected, and Mark Andrews is every little bit of a top-three tight end in the league. Baltimore is currently third in all of football—just behind Kansas City—in offensive points per game (29.8) and they are tied for first in the league with Philadelphia in takeaways per game (2.5).

The Chiefs are not scheduled to play the Ravens in the regular season for the first time since 2018. If things continue on like this, with Kansas City and Baltimore at or near the top of the AFC stat sheet, they could surely meet in the playoffs. If that’s to be the case, I’d prefer to see that game played at Arrowhead. A Bengals win over the Ravens would put Cincinnati atop the North, and leave the ravens at 2-3 through five weeks. A sub-.500 record for the Ravens early on will help the Chiefs in seeding down the road.

2. New York Jets

More of the same commentary with this game. The Dolphins are one of those two other 3-1 AFC teams, and an early divisional loss to the Jets could linger for Miami. Tua Tagovialoa is out indefinitely after suffering horrendous head and neck injuries over the past two weeks—something the NFL and NFLPA addressed quickly—and their near future is under question because of it. Teddy Bridgewater is filling in for Tua, and he’s proven to be a serviceable backup year after year. There was clear chemistry forming with the Dolphins starters though, and missing QB1 for an undefined timetable hurts.

The Jets have been frisky so far and their young core—on both sides of the ball—will prove pesky to AFC East competitors this year. Zach Wilson returned from injury last week, and while his interception issues were still on display, he was able to navigate his way to a Jets’ victory.

The Dolphins are indubitably more talented than the Jets, and Miami’s defensive front is legit. Signs point to a lopsided W for Mike McDaniels & Co. but Chiefs fans should be rooting for a sneaky Jets victory. Additionally, the DJ Reed vs Tyreek Hill and Sauce Gardner vs Jaylen Waddle matchups will be fun to keep tabs on.

3. Cleveland Browns

The Browns are hosting the Chargers on Sunday and a Cleveland win would be tasty. The AFC West which was supposed to be the toughest division in sports has gotten off to a surprisingly slow start. With the Colts edging out the circus act that is Russell Wilson’s Broncos on Thursday night, a Chargers loss—and a Chiefs win on Monday—would create some comfortable space in the division standings.

The Browns stink out loud, but the Chargers are beaten to hell. Rashawn Slater (torn bicep) and Joey Bosa (groin) are on the IR, and Keenan Allen is still not ready for game action. Justin Herbert will have his hands full with his thinned-out receiving corps, damaged offensive line, and Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney likely to return to competition for Cleveland this week.

The Browns pose about as insignificant of a threat as there is in the AFC, as they tread water and await the end of Deshawn Watson’s suspension. The Chargers’ season has gotten off to a rocky start, though, and Cleveland could be a bigger challenge than originally perceived.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers are playing against the Bills in Buffalo and are 14-point dogs on Sunday. This is guaranteed to be a blowout victory for the Bills, but Chiefs Kingdom can root for the Kenny Pickett coming-out party. For this week, and this week only, we can also hope for the disappointment of passing on George Pickens in the draft will be at an all-time high. If Kenny can force a shootout with Josh Allen, anything can happen. Chiefs Kingdom is very familiar with that notion

The Bills are the other 3-1 team among the Chiefs and Dolphins, and a loss on Sunday would be awesome. Incredibly unlikely, but awesome.

Next. Ranking the Chiefs top 15 draft picks ever. dark