Even without a key player like Travis Kelce and just a few plays made by Tyreek Hill, the Kansas City Chiefs became yesterday night AFC West Champions by dominating the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-10.
Yes, the Kansas City Chiefs became AFC West champions, but not only, that they won this very difficult division for the sixth straight season. No team in the history of the AFC West has won more than five straight titles since the start of divisions back in the 1970s, the Raiders won five straight in the 1970s, as did the Denver Broncos from 2011 to 2015 with Peyton Manning helping them.
The Kansas City Chiefs have played in the past two Super Bowls and have their sights set on participating in a third one this season. But let’s not jinx it, it is still early and the Chiefs do have clinched a playoff berth, but it would be better keeping the top seed to stay at home and have a bye week during the playoffs.
However, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his teammates will celebrate and fully appreciate their sixth straight AFC West title.
“I do 100%, this year as much as ever,” Mahomes said about becoming once again champions yesterday at the press conference. “You look at the AFC West (and) every team is still battling for a playoff spot,” Mahomes said. “It’s a tough division. We have more goals we want to go after, but this was the first one.”
The fact they were 3-4 at the end of October, and merely making the playoffs as a wild-card entry makes this title even more beautiful. The AFC West is highly competitive, and the three other teams are actually still in the hunt for a playoff spot, so winning it this year is a big step forward for the midwestern team.
Yesterday’s win was one of the best performance of the whole team this season. The Chiefs led 30-0 in the third quarter before the Steelers scored. Mahomes was 23-of-30 for 258 yards and three touchdowns before he was removed from the game in the fourth quarter. And before being removed, he threw the ball to nine different receivers, proof that not only Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce can step up.
Now, the 11-4 Chiefs lead the Tennessee Titans by one game in the race for the AFC’s top playoff seed. And their next opponent is on fire: the Cincinnati Bengals. Joe Burrow and Co have played very well this year, and they just crushed another playoff contender the Ravens yesterday.
Kansas City became the first AFC team to clinch a playoff berth. They also captured the AFC West division title for a sixth straight year and are one step closer to having home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Not bad at all…
Defensively, the Chiefs quickly made the Steelers’ offense struggling by shutting down the running game.
For the first time since 1940, Pittsburgh’s offense failed to score a first-half touchdown in five consecutive games after failing to score a point during the first half on Sunday.
Mahomes’ numbers could have been more impressive yesterday, but the Chiefs decided to rest him for the end of the game and put a shaky Chad Henne instead. It was the right decision though, no need to risk any stupid injuries before the end of the season.
While talking about injuries, Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has left the game against Pittsburgh with a collarbone injury, and Mathieu had a quad injury. Those two players’ injuries are going to be something to watch in the days to come. Mathieu is undoubtedly the heart and soul of this Chiefs defense, and it would be a big loss against the talented and dynamic Bengals.