A nice seven game win streak for the Chiefs has led to the one seed and a possible first round bye, but there are somethings we have learned about Kansas City over this stretch.
The Chiefs are where they want to be.
The Chiefs fans were probably bald after Week 7 with the amount of hair they pulled out as the Cheifs were below .500 for the first time in five years. The Chiefs needed to fix themselves and now they are back!
The Chiefs will be the first or second seed in the AFC after this week and in the driver’s seat in the AFC West as they head into the last three weeks to go. The Chiefs have wanted to be here from the start there are no doubts in the minds of the players, coaches, or front office.
The Chiefs have been able to win ugly, win pretty, and were able to win in some blowouts which have made the Chiefs teams one of the toughest teams in the NFL. During this span, the Chiefs turned one of their weaknesses, the defense, into a strength.
The defense needed some more time to adjust.
Entering week seven, the Chiefs defense was ranked as one of the worst units in the entire NFL, they were allowing over 6 yards per rush and 14 yards per catch. It looked like Spags was on his way out after the week seven blowout loss to the Tennessee Titans. Then the Chiefs finally started to make a bunch of adjustments in the lineups and in the way they attacked teams.
The biggest adjustment the Chiefs made was starting Juan Thornhill at safety over Daniel Sorenson and moving Chris Jones back into the inside for a majority of his snaps. These adjustments have made the defense extremely dangerous. The pass rush is generating a lot of pressure with Jones inside where he has been dominant, and the addition of Melvin Ingram has helped with stopping the run due to the speed and power he brings off of the edge.
Now the defense has been extremely solid, they are playing to the level they were supposed to play when the season started.
Offensive woes have seemed to have turned around.
The Chiefs offense has had great a couple of weeks in the ground and air, Mahomes has thrown for 750 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions over the past two weeks. Mahomes and Eric Bienemy have been able to make the adjustments that have made the offense dangerous. The Chiefs have been getting a lot of yards after the catch because Patrick Mahomes has gotten rid of the ball so fast.
Mahomes has acclimated to throwing the short to medium passes in most situations due to the defenses still playing two-high safeties throughout the season. It’s also not like Mahomes still doesn’t take shots, but those shots are calculated and will be seen as less risky than before. The only thing that needs to change is Mahomes’s skittishness in certain situations.
He seems to overthink some throws or seems to feel uncomfortable and force passes which he shouldn’t. This really has been the only downside of Mahomes this year, mainly because when he’s not confident in these throws the throws are behind or high and get tipped and picked. These are starting to get fixed and I expect the offense to thrive as we head to the postseason.