Necessary Roughness: Are the Chiefs really struggling against lesser opponents or is Andy Reid just toying with the league?

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After the Chiefs squeaked by the lowly Atlanta Falcons, many people around the league are wondering whether or not the Chiefs are as good as advertised.

The Kansas City Chiefs were watching their three-point lead over the Atlanta Falcons slowly slip away as Matt Ryan marched down the field with ease. However, after getting to a 1st & 5 from the Chiefs 21-yard line, the Falcons failed to pick up the first down on three straight tries.

This would leave the game in the hands (or foot) of Pro Bowl kicker Younghoe Koo. Koo had previously made 35 of 36 kicks before Sunday, but as luck would have it, his 39-yard attempt to tie the game sailed right. The Chiefs would win and clinch the number one seed in the AFC and the only bye going into the playoffs.

While the victory is great for the Chiefs, the question needs to be asked, “Why are these games always this close?” Atlanta entered this game as the 31st ranked passing defense in the league and they were facing the number one passing offense. Patrick Mahomes should’ve had 500 yards in this one but instead, they scored their lowest amount of points all season and Mahomes threw for less than 300 yards. He threw one interception but probably should’ve had three.

One of the non-interceptions should have been an easy pick for cornerback A.J. Terrell and one that would’ve probably ended the game, but it somehow popped out of his hands on his way to the ground. The question that I had had with that play was, “Why was Mahomes throwing that ball?” The pass was intended for Tyreek Hill, who was clearly covered. Mahomes threw that pass with zero pressure and looked Hill’s way the entire time.

It was very uncharacteristic of the reigning Super Bowl MVP. Then on the very next play, he hits a wide-open Demarcus Robinson on the other side of the field which made me ask this question: “Where was that all day?” It looked like the easiest score I had ever seen on a day where scoring looked incredibly hard.

This has been the case for the last seven weeks with the Kansas City Chiefs. They keep all of these games close and they play down to their opponent but by the end, they always come away on top. However, sports talking heads like Skip Bayless and Colin Cowherd are saying that this spells the end for the Chiefs.

In the previous week against the Saints, the Chiefs started out hot by going up 14-0 in the second quarter. Then they were up 29-15 in the fourth to only find themselves winning by a score of 32-29. How does that game end up only being a three-point victory?

This team either struggles all day against bad teams and then pulls it out at the end, or they go up big early against good teams and let them sneak back in before running out of time, case in point, the Tampa Bay game. The Chiefs went up 17-0 in the first quarter of that game and then just coasted to another three-point victory.

I know what you’re asking yourself: “What’s the point?” The point is that it almost feels too predictable for it to just be a fluke. What other teams can make these kinds of mistakes or have these kinds of struggles every week, but still come out on top? I know that Andy Reid has been known to let off the gas occasionally in games, so I understand how many people could just blame it on that, but to me, it felt like the Saints game and the Buccaneers game were played out exactly the same.

Like there was a method behind the madness. Perhaps in those games, Andy shows enough to get into a comfortable lead but then doesn’t want to show anymore, allowing the other team to catch up. In the other games (Panthers, Raiders, Broncos, Dolphins, Falcons), Andy doesn’t show anything, knowing that a C-average job can get the job done.

I get it. This is a little out there. However, don’t you think that this team knew they would be in the playoffs back in September? By October, they probably knew they were going to win the division. I mean think about it, this team pretty much coasted since the beginning of November and they’re still 14-1 and are the number one seed in the playoffs.

Why would they want to play their hand before the playoffs if they didn’t have to? I’m not saying you have to believe my conspiracy theory, in fact, feel free to tell me I’m crazy. Just don’t be surprised if this team starts blowing teams out on their way to repeat as Super Bowl champs.