After a thrilling Monday night victory over division rivals San Diego Chargers, the Kansas City Chiefs find themselves in first place in the AFC West. After losing the first two games of the season by a combined 89-10, it seems impossible that the Chiefs have climbed back into first. Kansas City is only the second team ever to start a season 0-3 and then go on a 4 game winning streak. Now, the first two wins of that streak were against teams with a combined record of 2-14 but the last two wins have come against division opponents that were ahead of them in the standings. The best way to climb back into a division race is by beating the teams ahead of you and that’s exactly what the Chiefs are doing. They got a huge win last week at Oakland and now they have taken down the team everybody thought would win the division.
Sometimes making as big of a comeback as the Chiefs have made, you need some luck on your side. Last week when the Chiefs beat Oakland, they played a Raiders team that had just lost their starting quarterback and that lost the leagues top rusher on the first play from scrimmage. This week they beat a San Diego Chargers team that also had several injuries to key players. But the biggest break the KC Chiefs got came from Philip Rivers in a minute left in the game. In a tie ball game the Chargers were just running the clock down to kick a game winning field goal from only 30 yards out. Then Rivers fumbles a snap, something that High School coaches would find inexcusable. To have a mental error like that in a NFL game is astonishing.
You can’t say that the only reason the Chiefs are in first is because they are lucky. In order to be 4-3 on the season after a 0-3 start you do need to get a few breaks, like easier teams on the schedule or key injuries to the opponent. To be considered a good team, however, you have to take advantage of those breaks. Yes the Raiders had some big injuries to their team but the Chiefs humiliated them by beating them 28-0 at home. The Rivers fumbled kept the Chargers from scoring, but the team still had to play an overtime which they stopped the Chargers offense and then drove the ball down on their first possession to get the game winning field goal.
The Chiefs are staring down two home games against the winless Dolphins and the struggling Broncos that they will be favored to win. If they come away with wins in those two weeks, the Chiefs could find themselves in first place in the AFC West all by themselves. The team still has a lot of work to do and it won’t be easy as they still don’t have Jamaal Charles, Tony Moeaki, and Eric Berry for the season.
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