Margin for Error
This is the most difficult thing for a team in the NFL to find and on Sunday we saw the Chiefs display it once again.
So few teams seem to find any margin for error in today’s NFL. It’s why the battle of turnovers almost always decides who wins and who loses. With so few games played, with so few drives in a game, with so few touches and targets to go around, the importance of every play in every game is what makes football such a compelling on-field product.
Just don’t tell that to the Chiefs.
On Sunday night, the Chiefs raced out to an early 9-0 lead and looked like they were going to dominate the Titans as expected (and even forecasted by oddsmakers). Instead, the car stalled and the Chiefs were standing outside their offensive car waiting for someone to come and give them a lift for a solid two-plus quarters. Meanwhile, Derrick Henry and the Titans got things moving, shifted the game’s tone and momentum, and even took an 8-point lead well into the fourth quarter at home.
Here’s the thing: Chiefs Kingdom has seen this again and again from this team even this year. Kansas City kept handing the Indianapolis Colts a win on a silver platter from the first to the last quarter and yet was never fully out of the game somehow. Even against the Buffalo Bills, a team ranked at the top of the NFL Power Rankings each week, the Chiefs turned the ball over multiple times, couldn’t generate much offense at key moments, and still only lost by four.
When the Chiefs lose, it’s because they shoot themselves in the foot numerous times—a comedy of errors, a Lemony Snicket-style series of unfortunate events. For the most part, however, the Chiefs have some real margin for error. Did the offense choke? There will be other moments. Was that a bad quarter? We’ll get it together. Did the Chiefs just turn the ball over? We’ll make it up somehow.
So few teams can relax in the face of such frustrating moments or even stretches, but the Chiefs have a real margin for error in 2022 and it’s a beautiful thing.