Chiefs Rooting Rankings and Playoff Picture: Week 10

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Arrowhead Guys tells you who to root for this week!

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!

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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.

Also, a new rule. Once a team falls 3 games behind the Chiefs, they will no longer be considered a relevant team for our rooting interests. At this point the Chiefs look good enough that even falling 3 games behind would take a miracle to make up. Therefore a team like the Broncos is no longer a serious threat.

Rankings:

1: Bengals over Ravens

Not many games we care about this week, as most of the AFC contenders are on their bye, so this game gets the top spot almost by default.

The Ravens made the AFC race much more interesting by beating the Patriots, and with the Browns losing in pathetic fashion and the Steelers not looking all that impressive it’s hard to see them losing the division. That means we will be rooting for them to lose every week.

2: Dolphins over Colts

Brissett got injured against the Steelers, but the reports indicate that it wasn’t too bad and that he might even play against the Dolphins. While the Texans have the division lead we should still root against the Colts to make sure they don’t surge and cause us issues.

3: Chargers over Raiders

This one doesn’t really matter. While both teams are uncomfortably close to the Chiefs in the standings, it doesn’t make much of a difference which one actually wins. The Chargers are the obvious choice since they have the extra loss, but they still seem to be the better team on paper and could be more likely to make a run.

Playoff Picture:

Ignoring the wildcards (since the Chiefs are likely winning the division), here’s how the AFC is shaping up so far.

  1. Patriots (8-1)
  2. Ravens (6-2)
  3. Texans (6-3)
  4. Chiefs (6-3)

The Ravens’ win over the Patriots really shook things up, while the Texans’ win over the Jaguars gave a lot of clarity to that division.

The biggest goal for the Chiefs should be to get a 1st round bye, which means getting one of the top 2 seeds. That means finishing above two of the other division winners. That’s quite doable.

Whether the Chiefs manage to finish in front of the Patriots will depend heavily on whether or not they win in Foxborough. A Patriots win means the Chiefs have virtually no hope of passing them, but a Chiefs win means they’re only 1 game back with the tiebreaker. The Patriots’ remaining schedule actually has some real teams (including the Eagles, Cowboys, Bills, and Texans), so given a Chiefs win in that game there’s a very realistic chance that they can be caught.

The Chiefs already have a tiebreaker over the Ravens, and at nearly equal records that means we just have to do better than them the rest of the season (even by half a game) and we’ll top them. Although they get the Bengals this week their schedule after that is quite difficult, so they should be the easiest of the bunch to exceed.

The Texans are likely going to be the team that makes or breaks our chances of a first round bye. Like the Ravens all we have to do is finish with a better record than them through the rest of the year to top them, but their schedule isn’t all that difficult. They have the Ravens, Patriots, and Colts, but other than that their schedule isn’t all that intimidating.

The Jaguars were our one hope to get that tiebreaker back, but with their loss to the Texans in London the Texans got the tiebreaker plus a 2 game lead. If the Colts overtake them again they also have the tiebreaker over us so it won’t matter.

Altogether the Chiefs will need to finish 7-0 or 6-1 to have a realistic chance of catching the Patriots unless they really fall off. But the first round bye is a different question.

If the Chiefs finish 6-1, it would be absolutely shocking if they didn’t get a top 2 seed. At that point the Texans would have to finish 6-1 as well, which while possible doesn’t really seem realistic, while the Ravens would need to finish 7-1, which again doesn’t seem realistic.

We saw how good this Chiefs team can be when healthy the last two weeks, when even Matt Moore was able to be competitive. With Mahomes back the Chiefs are the most likely of those three to go on a run.

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legal_kush
legal_kush

I like how the Eagles and Cowboys have suddenly become good teams when it fits the narrative, and they are boring and unwatchable when it doesn’t.

Tyrone

Not good teams, real teams

The Patriots’ remaining schedule actually has some real teams (including the Eagles, Cowboys, Bills, and Texans)

Half of the teams the Patriots have played so far should even be in the NFL.

Nasrani
Nasrani

A Dolphins win would be nice, just because they’re playing the Colts.

Knightwolfbr

The Pats only need to drop one more game before they play the Chiefs for us to have a shot.

ChiefOfTheWolfpack
ChiefOfTheWolfpack

Indeed. Technically we also would have to worry about the Bills losing 2 more but honestly if they win out they can have the 1 seed for all I care, they aren’t a threat.

3rdnlong
3rdnlong

They could also drop 2. I wouldn’t be upset about that if they did.

Armychiefj
Armychiefj

We need to stop overlooking the Chargers. They always suck at the beginning of the year for some reason or another (Henry injury and Gordon holdout were two big contributors this year) and then go on a run. Their defense looked frighteningly great against the Packers and we still have to play them twice. Reid is great against the division and I don’t expect they can sweep us, but a split is very realistic and that starts to make the division a lot more nerve wracking.

Sudden
Sudden

Do you work for the media?

Armychiefj
Armychiefj

Clearly not. I acknowledged that they suck at the beginning of every year and the media always thinks this will be the year that doesn’t happen

Berserker

Don’t we all?

VChiefsFan
VChiefsFan

I’m going to go with the Chargers over the Raiders just simply because they have the extra loss, but I completely agree with you on the Chargers being a better team on paper. I don’t agree with you on the defense being all that impressive, I blame the GB coaching and bad line play. They might be good, but I’ll take our offense over their defense every day and twice on Sundays.

If, and that’s a big if, our defense continues to play the way they have the last three weeks, I’m not going to be scared of any team left on our schedule.

tsv0728
tsv0728

I dunno if it’s a huge IF. They have had 3 very good weeks in a row, and are getting guys back faster than they are losing them (for now at least). It definitely feels like this defense has turned a corner, and can be counted on to play decently, if not well on any given Sunday.

VChiefsFan
VChiefsFan

I’ll settle for decent, Hell I’ll settle for not yelling “Watch the running back out of the backfield!” for a couple of weeks. They’ve been playing better, but I’m still shell shocked.

Berserker

My fear – and I’m surprised I haven’t seen more people say this – is that their attention got dialed in when Mahomes went out. Because Mahomes went out. And that when he comes back, the rest of the team will go back to expecting him to win all the games for them.

SuperMegaChief
SuperMegaChief

I agree with this. I had this idea that Mahomes made Andy Reid a lazy play caller. If that is indeed the case, then it makes sense that the team could suffer in the same way. The Pat can bail us out of anything mentality appears to be a real thing to the eye test.

TNCHIEFS
TNCHIEFS

I get it. And I think there may be some truth in it. HOWEVER, this team is gunning for a SB, and I just bet Spags and Brendan Daly have flashed some SB bling as a reminder. Not to mention I think the defense is enjoying the swagger of playing well and not getting so beat up in the media. That alone would motivate me to press on. But there feels like a synergy that will carry forward.

Or, maybe I’m delusional.

Nasrani
Nasrani

That and scheme. And personnel. We all seem to forget that this is our first year doing a 4-3 since who knows when (at least 2009) and that this year our defense has been radically shuffled and reshuffled like a deck of Black Jack cards in Vegas.

I went from “Oh yeah, that guy, we picked him up from [team]/drafted him in [round] of the [year] draft” to hearing someone’s name and going “Who the heck is that?” Particularly with our linebackers. I recognize Hitchens and Ragland but aside from that I don’t know anyone’s names.

It takes a while (as we have seen) for these guys to gel together. Heck, everyone was ready to throw Charvarius Ward to the dogs and now suddenly everyone’s come around. I’ll admit that it took a little longer than my liking for him to figure out what he’s doing, but it seems like now he’s got his legs under him and is a dang fine corner. Heck, he held Stefan Diggs to almost nothing on Sunday.

TNCHIEFS
TNCHIEFS

I just came back to edit my comment to include this. So maybe they were relying on Mahomes before he went down, but have gotten locked in since, whether related or just timing.

Berserker

If true, that would eventually make a pretty good fairy book story type plot for a Championship season…

3rdnlong
3rdnlong

I felt that way when hearing we had a lineman named Pennel. I thought they were talking about a Vikings player, but no. Sure enough, he was wearing red. I’ve never heard of the guy.

Brylowman
Brylowman

He actually was getting some hype when the Chiefs signed him either here or the other place.

DenverDonkeyHater
DenverDonkeyHater

Raiders have the easier schedule. They still have the jets and the bengals on tap after the chargers so if they win on thursday, they will likely end up at 7-4. If we only win one out of the next two we’ll be tied with them out of the bye.

That being said, I agree that the Chargers are better.

PS. Fucking Eddie Pinero and Matt Nagy

tsv0728
tsv0728

The Pats are the only team with a winning record left on the schedule, and winning that game is the key cog in the entire conversation. Outside of them, we don’t play another team w/ a winning record. With the steps this defense has taken, and health starting to look better, 7-0 seems very possible. I think the Pats could lose 3 of their next 4.

HawaiiFiveOh
HawaiiFiveOh

7-0 run. Book it.

Knightwolfbr

Let’s go!

venturachief
venturachief

Ok 6-1 is definitely doable.