So we decided to ask the question ourselves and see what another analyst thought. During an exclusive interview with NFL Network insider Steve Weissman, Heavy on NFL reporter Stephanie Otey posed the same talking point: Are the Chiefs the team to beat in the AFC West and if so, what about the conference as a whole?
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Weissman Delivers for KC
Otey asked and Weissman delivered. Here was the NFL insider’s response in full:
There’s definitely other folks in the race. I’ll say this, the good news, they’ve won three in a row. You mentioned the big one [Raiders]. Largest win for the Chiefs this season, Patrick Mahomes season-high 406 yards I mean the Chiefs scored more points in Week 10 than Weeks 7-9 combined, and this was Mahomes’ third career game [of] 400-plus passing yards [and] five-plus passing touchdowns. And get this, the previous two times he did that, he had four or more passing touchdowns in a win the following game. So bodes well for what’s happening this week. The offense is clicking and more importantly, the defense right now is in lockdown mode. They’ve only allowed 15.6 points a game in the last five games [before Week 11] after allowing nearly 33 in the first five. They were 2-3 in those games, 4-1 in the last. Defense wins championships. Plus Patrick Mahomes playing like an MVP again. I still like the Titans. I still like the Bills. I still like the Ravens. But right now, the Chiefs are right up there with everybody.
Some of the big-hitter comments from Weissman were the defense being in “lockdown mode,” Mahomes “playing like an MVP again,” and the Chiefs being “right up there with everybody” for best in the AFC.
He may not have coronated Kansas City but he did list them along with three others — the Tennessee Titans (8-3), Baltimore Ravens (7-3) and Buffalo Bills (6-4). These four were all AFC favorites coming into the season so the fact that not much has changed here in Week 11 should act as a reminder not to sound the alarm too quickly when it comes to slow starts.
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Reclaiming the Throne
Everyone loves to take their shots at the king but as the saying goes — if you come for the crown, you better not miss.
Until they are eliminated from playoff contention or knocked out of the postseason, Kansas City is still the king of the conference. They’ve won the AFC the past two years and despite the early struggles, find themselves leading the AFC West just before Thanksgiving.
The Los Angeles Chargers took their shot and to their credit, beat the Chiefs head to head, but then they faltered with losses to the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings.
The Las Vegas Raiders had a chance at the throne too before KC came to town. Unfortunately for their fans, a 41-14 defeat virtually settled any Raiders resurgence.
Now, it’s time to close the season as they’ve done in the past because with six games left to play after the Week 12 bye — and four division battles — this is still anybody’s race.
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