After two humiliating losses last year, the Kansas City Chiefs can’t afford to lose to the Cincinnati Bengals again. The Chiefs must exorcise some demons.
It’s time for the Kansas City Chiefs to exorcise some demons. And if there is one person who can exorcise those demons, it’s Patrick Mahomes. From his first playoff win against the Indianapolis Colts to the Chiefs’ second Super Bowl win after three straight come-from-behind playoff victories, Mahomes has been Kansas City’s priest.
Now a new ghost has appeared: the Cincinnati Bengals. Led by Joe Burrow, the Bengals beat the Chiefs twice last year in embarrassing fashion. The Chiefs dominated Cincinnati in the first half of both games before utterly collapsing after halftime.
Before those two games, the Chiefs were only a game behind in their all-time head-to-head matchup. Now sporting a 17-14-1 record, the Bengals have a three-game lead and suddenly look like a new ghost that K.C. hasn’t been able to quite vanquish. I looked at the history between these two teams last year.
While last year’s losses were embarrassing and painful, this year the stakes are even higher. The Chiefs hold just a single-game lead for the AFC #1 seed. A win over the Bengals would allow them to keep pace, and set up a much easier schedule for the rest of the season.
A loss would, at minimum, would take the #1 seed (and its coveted bye week) out of their control. It would essentially allow both the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins a chance to duke it out. And since the Bills already hold the tiebreaker against KC, the margin for error is even slimmer.
As of this writing, the Bills have yet to play the New England Patriots so it’s quite possible that that game could impact all of these outcomes. Chiefs Kingdom is certainly hoping for a New England win.
At the same time, the Dolphins are playing the San Francisco 49ers this weekend which is undoubtedly a tough matchup for Miami.
Not all would be lost if the Chiefs dropped Sunday’s game to the Bengals, but it certainly wouldn’t help. Nor would it look good. The Bengals themselves are in a tight race for a playoff spot with the Baltimore Ravens over in the AFC North.
In a weird doomsday scenario, this outcome of KC/CIN could actually impact seeding and force the two teams to meet again in the playoffs. Let’s say the Chiefs lose this week, and ultimately the #1 seed. If the Bengals then ultimately win their division and by chance end up with the same record as the Chiefs, guess who’s going back to Cincinnati to once again play the Bengals twice in one month?
That scenario is, like I said, a doomsday scenario. Even if the Chiefs lose this weekend, I don’t see the Bengals catching up record-wise. Still, the Chiefs just can’t afford to lose this game and would save everyone a headache by pulling out a win.