My prediction of the Kansas City Chiefs winning the AFC West in 2016 is coming full circle after they defeated the Oakland Raiders 21-13 on Thursday Night Football. They won the game in typical Chiefs fashion which is having solid play by the special teams and their defense taking it to another level against their opponents. The Chiefs advanced to a record of 10-3 and 1st place in the AFC West, but can they continue their momentum into the playoffs this season?
In regards to the playoff picture, they are only one game behind the New England Patriots for the number one seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Patriots take on the Baltimore Ravens in a crucial matchup on Monday Night Football. A loss by the Patriots would allow the Chiefs to control their destiny in regards to having home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
For that to happen, they must win their last three remaining games of the season. Their opponents are the Titans, Broncos, and Chargers. All three of those teams have playoff aspirations right now. Those games are winnable, but the Chiefs defense will need to have one of their best performances of the season during that stretch. Each team presents a different challenge to Chiefs defense.
I believe that Kansas City could defeat New England in the playoffs this season, but they will need home-field advantage throughout the postseason to accomplish that. They have the personnel on defense that is capable of disrupting Tom Brady and the vaunted Patriots offense.
Another advantage the Chiefs defense will have if they face New England Patriots is that they will not have to deal with All-Pro tight-end Rob Gronkowski. Gronk is inactive for the remainder of the season after suffering a nagging back injury that was traced from a hit absorbed from Seahawks safety Earl Thomas during the Nov 13 contest.
Even though the Chiefs are playoff bound, there is no margin for error. A loss against any one of those three teams mentioned in this post can put the Raiders back on top in the AFC West. Now is not that time to start to getting complacent this season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today
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