Chiefs control their destiny after a rocky start

A 3-4 start to the season and head-to-head losses to AFC rivals, but an 8-game winning streak has changed the narrative on the Kansas City Chiefs.

There was a point this season that didn’t look nearly as good as it does now. The Chiefs were last in the AFC West after Week 7 and Chiefs Kingdom may recall tweets like this.

The Chiefs suffered losses to teams eyeing to take their AFC crown: The Ravens, Chargers, Bills, and then the Titans. But since then, the Chiefs haven’t lost, and all four of those teams have at least five losses. This has opened the door wide open for the Chiefs going into Week 17. Kansas City is 11-4 and currently controls their own destiny with the Titans at 10-5.

Four losses in the first half of the season gave the conference a true chance of doing something remarkable in the Mahomes era. The 26-year-old quarterback has yet to play a true road playoff game in the AFC. The 2021 Super Bowl was in Tampa Bay against the Buccaneers but was technically deemed a neutral site. But this likely will be a conference ran through Arrowhead Stadium. The Bills racked up six losses this season, including a loss to the Jaguars. They dropped the ball on their preseason threat to Kansas City as they sit at 9-6 and barely atop the AFC East.

The Ravens have been dealt the injury bug this season. They began the season without running back Gus Edwards and it has been falling apart with injuries, COVID-19, and regular free agent signings. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson still doesn’t look ready to go in Week 17 after limping around the practice field on Wednesday. The Ravens have lost four straight and fell below the Miami Dolphins for the last playoff spot.

The Chargers dropped a crucial division game to the Chiefs in overtime in Week 15. Then fell and got upset by the Houston Texans, which allowed the Chiefs to clinch the AFC West for the sixth time in a row. All of these teams had the Chiefs where they wanted them. With four losses and the longest regular season ever ahead. But with two weeks left, the AFC still runs through Kansas City, MO.

The jokes about how the ‘Chiefs are done and finished’ are done and over. Of course, the playoffs will tell all but the Chiefs are riding higher than anyone else in the league. Eight game winning streak, the defense is only giving up 12.9 points per game during the streak. The offense is still clicking, even without All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce last week. This team has a next-man-up mentality and looks to be ready for another run at a Super Bowl title.