Things are getting real now for 7-0 Chiefs
October, 21, 2013
By Adam Teicher | ESPN.com
John Rieger/USA TODAY SportsTamba Hali and theKansas City Chiefs' defense have much to celebrate so far, including a 7-0 record.KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As if being 7-0 isn’t strange territory for the Kansas City Chiefs, they’re sharing that rare space with no other team after the Denver Broncos lost to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night.
You ready for the ride? It's going to be a wild one no matter how it turns out. The Chiefs are going to take every opponent’s best shot, though after watching the battered Houston Texans almost leave Arrowhead Stadium with a victory on Sunday, you probably already knew that.
Not sure how potent of a shot the Cleveland Browns are capable of delivering when they come to Arrowhead this weekend. The Chiefs then get the Bills in Buffalo and have their bye before heading to Denver on Nov. 17 for the first of their two meetings with the Broncos.
I’ve already gone on record saying the Chiefs would be 9-0 by the time they get to Denver. At that point, buckle up. Over the final seven games the Chiefs will face these quarterbacks: Peyton Manning twice, Philip Rivers twice, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Terrelle Pryor.
No backup quarterbacks there. So this thing will quickly get interesting and Denver’s loss to the Colts only adds to the intrigue. Until Sunday night, it was difficult to see a realistic scenario in which the Chiefs could win the AFC West.
Now, who knows? Denver’s finishing schedule is about as difficult as Kansas City’s. The Broncos have home games remaining with Washington, Kansas City, Tennessee and San Diego and road games at San Diego, New England, Kansas City, Houston and Oakland.
Where the Chiefs once (at the start of the season, for instance) might have been content with a wild-card playoff berth, they don’t feel that way anymore. The difference between winning the AFC West (which will probably mean home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs) and a wild-card spot is huge.
How huge? Right now, here’s how the AFC playoff field would be seeded if the playoffs started this week: 1, Kansas City; 2, Cincinnati; 3, Indianapolis; 4, New England; 5, Denver; 6, either San Diego or the New York Jets.
Under this scenario, the Chiefs would get a bye in the first round, then a home game against the lowest-seeded team still alive (the Broncos, probably) and, if they win, the AFC championship game at Arrowhead. The Broncos would face a playoff schedule that includes a wild-card game at New England, then with a victory a road game against either the Chiefs or Bengals and then, with another victory, a third straight road game for the AFC title game.
Those playoff schedules would be flipped if Denver wins the AFC West as opposed to the Chiefs. So, with the Chiefs a game ahead of the Broncos, this thing is starting to get real now.
Like a lot of Chiefs fans, I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.