Who were those impostors impersonating the Kansas City Chiefs during the first six weeks of the season?
During that time, the Chiefs were practically defenseless as they gave up yards weekly covering more than four football fields, not to mention they were touchdown-starved on offense, as most of their scoring drives resulted in boring Cairo Santos chip shots as they developed an allergic reaction to the end zone.
The result was a 1-5 start and a hopeless feeling going into the rest of the season.
It didn't help that two of those five losses felt like giveaways, as the Chiefs had Denver basically beaten in Week 2 at Arrowhead before losing after an improbable finish and they also were in control at home against Chicago, only to allow a couple of late scores to lose to a mediocre Bears team that was missing several key players. You can't afford to give home games away in the NFL and losing twice at Arrowhead infuriated the passionate fan base.
But suddenly, the defense became a fortress and the offense efficient. The result is four straight wins and now the Chiefs have themselves in prime playoff position in what is a watered-down AFC. While New England is clearly the best team, the Denver Broncos are trying to live life now without Peyton Manning and nobody ever takes Cincinnati seriously because of all its playoff failures. After that, it's a bunch of teams just treading water trying to stay above .500.
If New England knocks off Buffalo as expected tonight, the Chiefs are tied for the second wild-card spot and just a game back of Pittsburgh for the first wild-card, a team it holds the tiebreaker over. Kansas City and the New York Jets are 5-5, as are Indianapolis and Houston, which are in the same division. The winner of the division receives an automatic playoff berth, while the loser goes into the wild-card fray.
The Chiefs, however, are in the best spot of any of the wild-card contenders. After their home game with Buffalo on Sunday, their final five games are all against teams with losing records. And three of those will be at home at Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs haven’t played for nearly a month.
Buffalo certainly will be a challenge on Sunday, but remember it's operating on a short week and New England could certainly inflict some physical damage tonight. The Bills are much like the Chiefs in that their defense is currently what they're hanging their hat on. They don't have a lot of playmakers on offense, but traditionally Buffalo has been a difficult game for the Chiefs.
Here's a look at the last five games:
• At Oakland
• San Diego
• At Baltimore (which just lost star quarterback Joe Flacco and top running back Justin Forsettt for the season)
Realistically, the Chiefs could win out. You never know how they'll play in Oakland, but the Raiders are sliding after a good start. KC just beat up San Diego and the Chargers looked like a team already packing it in. Cleveland is starting Johnny Football at quarterback and can you imagine how he'll hold up at Arrowhead with a motivated Chiefs pass rush?
It may all come down to the final week. Raider Week. Does that ever bring back memories of the old AFL and Lenny Dawson and Ben Davidson.