I don’t think I’ve ever said this about a 4-5 team, but the Kansas City Chiefs control their own destiny and this below .500 team looks like the best team in the AFC West. The only thing stopping the Chiefs from winning the division would be another one or two major injuries.
We all learned that Peyton Manning is now an eight-game a season quarterback. He no longer has the physical ability to last an entire NFL season. His demise started a year or two ago late season. Now it’s midseason. His body is breaking down. How goes Manning is how goes the Broncos.
In the game he set the NFL mark for most passing yards, he was also picked off four times and benched as the Chiefs rolled to a 29-13 win.
So why do I like the Chiefs stealing the division?
With three non-division games left against Buffalo, Baltimore and Cleveland, there will be at least two wins and having the Bills at home almost certainly gives the Chiefs three wins.
That leaves four division games with San Diego and Oakland. They’re rival games, they’re always difficult and turning around to head back out west to face the Chargers this week won’t be easy after an emotional win like this over the Broncos. Even if the Chiefs go 2-2 against the Raiders and Chargers, they’ll have a 9-7 record.
At 7-2, the Broncos are still in the driver’s seat, but have a road game at Chicago, who seems to finding their groove, and games against New England, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. That’s potentially and very likely four losses. Then two with San Diego and one with Oakland. The question…are the Broncos capable of winning two of those games? They’ll need to if they want to hold onto the West in a tiebreaker over the Chiefs at 9-7.
For me, the division title comes down to this week. If the Chiefs can go to San Diego and win and the Broncos lose in Chicago, the path is clear for Kansas City to steal the AFC West.