Have you ever been sitting around on a Sunday after the Chiefs have pulled off yet another victory, watching a game between the Lions and the Cardinals and wondering who you should root for?
Then today’s your lucky day!
In this series we’ll go through the games each week and explain, from a Chiefs fan perspective, who you should and shouldn’t root for and which games are the most important.
If you want to know how I determine the rankings, or why not every game is included, see the explanation here.
1: Jets over Patriots
We’ve gotten to the point where it’s the Chiefs and Patriots and then everybody else in the AFC. Unfortunately the Patriots have an unbelievably soft schedule, so we’ll be rooting for some big upsets.
2: Rams over Browns
This is an interesting week for rooting interests, since the Browns are the top team playing where there isn’t some reason for Chiefs fans to root for the other team. The Browns are still a mystery, and mystery means a chance that they can challenge us. Better to shut their dreams down early.
3: Bengals over Bills
Like the Browns, this ranking says more about the other games below it than that the Bills are necessarily a major threat. But starting 2-0 means winning the division isn’t completely crazy. Like the Patriots, they get to play the Jets and Dolphins twice, and if the Patriots run into some bad luck the easy schedule may propel the Bills to a record far above their actual talent level.
4: Vikings over Raiders
Yet another game that is ranked highly due entirely to the fact that Chiefs fans have a clear rooting interest. The Raiders aren’t completely out of it yet, so while it’s a very, very long shot for them to seriously contend for the division, it’s still best for them to be beaten down early and often.
5: Jaguars over Titans
While I personally think the Jaguars are the better team, we’re up 2 games on them and have the tie breaker. They would need to be 3 games better than us over the rest of the season to jump us in the standings, which doesn’t seem likely.
On the other hand the Titans aren’t terrible and are within striking distance if they get hot. It’s in the Chiefs’ best interest for the AFC South to beat each other up and keep their win totals low.
6: Texans over Chargers
The Texans are better than the Chargers right now, so in theory represent a bigger threat, but the appeal of wrapping up the division is just too strong. Winning the division is so important that at this stage of the season you don’t want to take anything for granted.
That being said, if the Chargers do win, I won’t be sad that the Texans got that loss.
7: Packers over Broncos
We haven’t quite gotten to the point of rooting for division rivals in order to hurt their draft position, but the Broncos are nearly there. They almost beat the Bears, but are going to need to do better than almost winning if they want to be considered a threat in the division.
8: Falcons over Colts
It’s hard to imagine the Colts seriously contending without Luck, but they did get a good win over the Titans last week.
8: Steelers over 49ers
A little change to the rules. As was pointed out last week in the comments, I foolishly forgot that we have the 49ers 2nd round pick, so the more they lose the better that pick will be. With Roethlisberger out after an 0-2 start I’d rather let the Steelers get the win if it means that draft pick is a couple spots higher.