The Kansas City Chiefs are 6-1 through their first 7 games of the year, and they are the early favorite to represent the AFC in the superbowl for the 1st time since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. While the Chiefs certainly look good through the 1st half of the year, I don’t believe they will represent the AFC in the superbowl, and I don’t even think they will make it to the AFC Championship game. Here are my top 5 reasons the Kansas City Chiefs will not make it to the superbowl.
5 – They have an inexperienced quarterback leading the way.
The Chiefs young quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been very impressive through the 1st half of the season, however teams are starting to figure him out. Through his first 4 games, he had 14 touchdown passes, 0 interceptions, and about 1200 passing yards. In his last 3 games, he has 8 touchdown passes, 5 interceptions, and just a tad over 1000 yards. Mahomes 2 worst games of the season have come against playoff caliber defenses, the Broncos and the Jaguars.
While the Chiefs won both those games, Mahomes was limited to just a 76.5 quarterback rating while throwing only 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. The Chiefs have 4 games left against playoff caliber defenses, including 1 this Sunday at home vs the Broncos and Mahomes will have opportunities to turn his luck around against the better defenses’ in the NFL. If the Chiefs want to have a long playoff run, their young quarterback will need to step up his game against the best defenses’, otherwise a 1st round exit could be in their future.
4 – Strength of their division
The Chiefs are in 1st place in the AFC West through the first 7 weeks, but the Chiefs have some serious competition just within their division. The Raiders are not threat so we won’t need to include them, but the Broncos and Chargers can create chaos for the Chiefs through the rest of the season. Let’s start with the Broncos. They are 3-4 on the year, but they are a good defensive team. The Broncos held Mahomes to just 1 touchdown pass, and caused him to have his 2nd worst game of the season in terms of passer rating (89.5) and number of touchdown passes (1), back in week 4. The Broncos have a tough remaining schedule but have the ability to put pressure on the Chiefs.
The Chargers on the other hand are quietly becoming one of the best teams in the NFL. Even though the Chargers lost their week 1 matchup with the Chiefs, the Chargers held Mahomes to a season low in completion percentage, (55.6%), and passing yards (256). Since that game, the Chargers have gone 5-1 and looked to be a serious threat in the AFC. Phillip Rivers is having another typically great Phillip Rivers season, and with weapons all over the field, the Chargers have certainly put themselves into the thick of the playoff conversation. If they can survive their tough end of the year schedule, look for the Chargers to be right there with the Chiefs when it comes time for the playoffs.
3 – The Chiefs are known for choking
This is a big problem for the Chiefs. It seems like we have seen this scenario before with the Chiefs. They start off the season super hot, the quarterback is an early MVP candidate, and everyone thinks that the Chiefs will finally get over the hump, but they always fall off towards the end of the season and end up loosing in the 1st or 2nd round of the playoffs. Take 2017 for example. The Chiefs started the year 5-0, Alex Smith was the early front runner for MVP, Kareem Hunt looked to be the next big thing, and the team was a heavy favorite to make the superbowl. They would finish the year 5-6, barley making the Wild Card game against the Titans. In that game, the Chiefs blew 21-3 3rd quarter lead at home, and lost the game 22-21.
Since 1994 the Chiefs are 1-10 in the playoffs, and have not made it out of the 1st round in any of those playoff runs. Their lone win came in the 2015 wild card game where they beat the Texans 30-0 only to lose to New England in the divisional round. To add to it all, their coach Andy Reid has also been heavily criticized for his inability to win in the playoffs. Since joining the Chiefs in 2013, Reid is 59-28 (.678) during the regular season, but is just 1-5 (.142) in the postseason.
2 – Their defense
The Chiefs offense has carried this team all year long. They rank 3rd in total yards per game, and are the top scoring offense in the NFL averaging 37.1 points per game. On the flip side, their defense has been terrible. The Chiefs defense is allowing 435 yards per game which is worst in the NFL and are allowing 26.0 points per game. They have allowed 27+ points in 4 of their 7 games so far, and have gotten away with wins thanks to the offense bailing them out week after week.
I’ll give the Chiefs some credit in the fact that their best defensive players have not seen much of the field due to injury this year, and 2 of the past 3 games, the Chiefs have done a better job with limiting opponents to both yards per game and points. There is an old saying that goes, “offense wins games, defense wins championships”, and this is all too true when you talk about the Kansas City Chiefs. Their offense will win them a ton of games in the regular season, but when it comes down to games that matter, it will be their defense that carries them to the next level.
1 – Tom Brady and Bill Belichick
Need I say anything else? Probably not but I will anyways.
Every year it seems like Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the New England Patriots seem to make it to the AFC title game and somehow come out of the AFC to play in the superbowl. Since 2001, they have played in 8 superbowls with a record of 5-3 in the big game, and have won the AFC championship game in 3 of the last 4 years.
When the Chiefs played the Patriots this year, the Chiefs were dominated for most of the game. Even though they offense brought the back into the game and almost pulled off an improbable come back, the Patriots. To go along with all this, coach Andy Reid is 2-6 in his career when facing a Bill Belichick lead team, and Belichick seems to always get the best of Reid when it matters most.
I think the Patriots will be going back to the superbowl for the 3rd straight season, and if they do face the Chiefs in the playoffs, no matter if it’s in Foxborough or in Kansas City, the Patriots will come out with the win. The best chance the Chiefs have to win is if they can finish with home field advantage, and that they can get healthy enough on defense in order to slow that New England offense down, or they can hope someone else will knock New England out of the playoffs.
The Chiefs are a very good football team, but I don’t think they are ready for the bright lights of a superbowl. Do you think I am wrong? Where do you think the Chiefs will finish? Leave a comment and try to prove me wrong.