The NFL has returned, and not only will we be rooting for the Chiefs, but we will be rooting against those teams that stand between us and another Super Bowl championship. This is the weekly piece where I rank exactly which teams we should be rooting against to 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 East 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.
- All AFC teams will be included until they’re 3 games back of us. At that point, they’re not enough of a threat to bother listing.
1: Browns over Broncos
I know this game already happened, but the Browns winning was a great result for us in both directions. Not only does it knock the Broncos down a peg, but it helps the Brown win the AFC North, which due to tiebreakers is what the Chiefs should want to happen.
2: Bengals over Ravens
3: Eagles over Raiders
The Eagles over the Raiders is more clear-cut, but the Ravens losing is more important if we want to contend for the top seed (which I would argue is the only seeding that matters). The Bengals have a winning record, but I’m skeptical that they’ll be able to sustain it.
4: Jets over Patriots
5: 49ers over Colts
6: Cardinals over Texans
7: Falcons over Dolphins
A very brief rooting rankings this week since 4 AFC teams, most notably the Bills and Chargers, are on byes. But hopefully this will be the last week we have to pretend to care about the Texans and Dolphins, as their losses and a Chiefs win would make them officially 3 games back of the Chiefs.