The NFL has returned, and not only will we be rooting for the Chiefs, but we will be rooting against those teams that stand in between us and another Super Bowl championship. This is the weekly piece where I rank exactly which teams we should be rooting against that maximize the Chiefs’ odds of reaching the final game of the season.
But first the rules.
- The rankings and interests are based solely on which outcomes benefit the Chiefs the most. So while some may root for the Bills to beat the Raiders because we hate the Raiders, from the Chiefs perspective it’s best for the Raiders to win and make it easier for the Chiefs to get the top seed.
- NFC vs. NFC matchups won’t be ranked. The only way they impact the Chiefs is if we get down to the 4th tiebreaker for playoff seeding (meaning head-to-head, win-loss record in conference games, and win-loss record in common games are all tied) in which case they factor into strength of victory and strength of schedule. Not only is this unlikely to be relevant, but even if it is, we already know to root for NFC West teams (since that’s who we play this year).
- The Chiefs game won’t be ranked because, duh, we root for the Chiefs to win, and it will always be our most important game.
- I will continue to include AFC teams that are within 3 games of the Chiefs. If a team is more than 3 games back, we’ll assume they’re no longer a threat.
1: Texans over Broncos
2: Cardinals over Raiders
I still am focused on the division for now, and with the Chiefs playing the Chargers this week it means just the Broncos and the Raiders in the rankings. The Broncos looked worse last week, but they still have more potential to be really good, so they’re above the Raiders for now.
3: Dolphins over Ravens
4: Titans over Bills
Another tough call between the Ravens and the Bills. Not only do I think the Ravens are a bit better, but the Titans are a bigger threat than the Dolphins in my opinion, so I’d rather the Titans get a win.
5: Cowboys over Bengals
6: Jaguars over Colts
7: Steelers over Patriots
Picking an NFC team over last year’s AFC champs is easy, but the other two games are hard to even know who to root for. I went for the Colts being a bigger threat than the Jaguars just because they’re more proven, and the Patriots being more of a threat because Mahomes has historically dominated the Steelers.
8: Jets over Browns
I know the Browns in theory could be good when Watson comes back, and they did win last week, but there is no way the winner of this game will finish ahead of the Chiefs in the standings. If they do I’ll give one person a free 12 month membership to Arrowhead Guys.