The Kansas City Chiefs have an NFC problem (and that's a good thing)

The Kansas City Chiefs may have four losses already this year, but most of them have one thing in common.

Kansas City Chiefs v Green Bay Packers
Kansas City Chiefs v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The sky may or may not be falling in Kansas City this year. The Chiefs have set such a high bar for themselves over the past four years that hitting four losses before Christmas has many fans in full-blown panic mode.

But there's a very curious connection to three of those four losses: they are from NFC teams. And that may be both good and bad.

Every year, NFL teams play five out-of-conference games. That's one whole division, plus the specifically calculated match that I call the "game 17 opponent" (since it was instituted at the creation of a 17-game season a few years back). For the Chiefs, that meant that they played the entire NFC North this year, plus the Philadelphia Eagles.

In those five games, the team went 2-3. They shockingly lost to the now-good Detroit Lions in Week 1, dispatched the Chicago Bears in Week 3, narrowly edged out the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5, and then lost to both the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers in two of the last three weeks.

While the losses have been frustrating, I think some positives have come out of them. The first is that it means the Chiefs have a stellar AFC record, with only one loss (to those pesky Denver Broncos). That's the best record in the conference, and it could come down to being the tiebreaker between Kansas City and the Baltimore Ravens.

The Chiefs have head-to-head tiebreakers against the other two probable division winners in the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars. Since they don't play the Ravens this year, that conference record tiebreaker could be major in getting the #1 seed.

The second positive is that all three losses were by one score or less. Considering most one-score games can quite often go either way (just ask last year's Minnesota Vikings), that should be promising in case the Chiefs happen to meet any of those three teams in the Super Bowl. The Chiefs have a real chance of winning against any of those opponents given a second chance.

This leads to the bad side of the Chiefs' current NFC allergy: the NFC is just straight-up better than the AFC this year. The 49ers, Eagles, and Cowboys are making the Ravens, Dolphins, and Chiefs all look very inferior right now, not to mention the rest of the AFC. But even if we do mention the AFC, the competition is just dreadful.

Half of the current slated playoff field in the American Conference is playing a backup quarterback (or worse). That probably explains why the Chiefs have done so well against their own conference, while also struggling against the NFC teams.

So what does this all mean in the long run? If the current trend holds, the Chiefs have a serious chance to run through the AFC on their way to a second straight Super Bowl, warts and all. But those warts might look pretty nasty against whoever the NFC sends.