The Chiefs are 1-7. That means it is time to start discussing playoff scenarios!!!
And you know what? I’m only slightly joking.
The Chiefs are 1-7. But 6 of those losses came against teams teams with a winning record: The Patriots, Jets, and Falcons are all 5-3, the Bucs are 6-3, the Panthers are 6-2, and the Titans are 8-0. We lost to these teams with winning records when were extremely unsettled at QB. The only loss to a team with a currently losing record was against the Raiders.
So let’s say that for the rest of the season, we only lose to teams that currently have a winning record. We would end up:
8-8! That would include giving the Raiders and Broncos another loss each, and handing the Chargers 2 losses. With the way those teams are playing, and with their remaining opponents’ schedules, and with the Chiefs victories adding to their losses directly, I don’t think any other team would end up 8-8. That would mean we’d win the AFC West with an 8-8 record. That doesn’t sound very good, but we would go into the playoffs on a 7-1 streak and with one home game. The chances of us winning a playoff game would be very good.
Don’t like that scenario? Do you think that some of our opponents who don’t have winning records might also improve?
Okay, here’s another potentially likely scenario:
Let’s say the Chiefs take advantage of the current turmoil and weakness of the AFC West and win the rest of their games against AFC West opponents. That’s 5 games. And of the remaining 4 games, we win all our home games, and lose away games.
That would put us at…
8-8! And on the same 7-1 streak!
Much has to happen for either of these scenarios to turn out. The other AFC West teams would have to continue to flounder. There’s reason to think they might not be able to recover this season, of course.
The Broncos? They have lost all their RBs, and their defense started bad and was decimated by season-ending injuries.
The Raiders? They are the Raiders, and the players have apparently already given up on their new coach.
The Chargers? LDT is clearly deteriorating, they miss Shawn Merriman, and, most importantly: they have Norv Turner as their head coach. Like Wade Phillips in Dallas, the curse didn’t hit immediately, but is in full force in 2008.
We need to continue to get good play from Thigpen, innovative playcalling from Chan Gailey, solid and continually improving play from our O-line, continued turnovers from our defense, and the defense probably needs to start getting pressure on the QB to slow down the passing game that’s killed us late the last few games. Put another way: we need to build on the successes of the last two games, but turn the corner, play strong all 4 quarters, and win these close games.
It’s all speculation, of course. It has been done before, but we are probably too young and too injured ourselves. Mostly, I just want to us to win some games and have our defense gel and set the stage for a playoff run next year.