The five biggest down-the-stretch challenges facing the Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs face several significant hurdles between now and the end of the season (and it's not just some opponents).

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos / Justin Tafoya/GettyImages
5 of 5

1. Cleaning up the offensive mess

Look, let's be brutally honest here: The second, third, fourth, and fifth items on this list could all combine into one super-concern (should we capitalize this as a Super-Concern?) like some old Voltron cartoon and it would still pale in comparison to this last and final entry.

The Kansas City Chiefs would be 9-1 if they didn't shoot themselves in the foot repetitively quarter after quarter in several games this year. In some instances, they simply skated by a clearly inferior opponent with a win (New York Jets, Jacksonville, Miami), but in other instances, the miscues put them in a hole they could not escape from (Detroit, Philadelphia). It's possible to even argue they would be 10-0 if they could play a clean game.

The penalties are many. The drops lead the league. The mistrust and miscommunication and apparent on multiple pass plays each game. Short-yardage concerns are still a thing from last year, and red zone efficiency has completely disappeared for some weeks. With the lack of proven playmakers in a somehow-crowded WR room, teams are just blanketing Travis Kelce and begging the Chiefs to do something about it.

During the team's loss last Monday night, Patrick Mahomes held his hands on the top of his helmet time and time again wondering how yet another pass directly on target could sail through the hands of one wideout (or tight end) after another. The entire defense has to be thinking the same thing as Mahomes. The bye week has already come and gone (and with it, the hope that serious strategic shifts would be made) but the Chiefs need to rebuild this plane on the fly or else you have to seriously question if they'll even have a chance to repeat as champs.