The Kansas City Chiefs are now 7-5, winners of six straight and the current owners of the top Wild Card spot in the AFC playoff picture. For that, they get a top 10 ranking in this week's NFL power rankings.
The Chiefs are as hot as any team in the NFL. They have a longer winning streak than any team without Cam Newton at quarterback. Their defense is playing great football by allowing just 13 points per game during their winning streak. The offense is more than doing their part with more than 30 points per game during the winning streak. They have gone on the road to beat playoff-caliber teams in the Broncos and Raiders. They beat the Bills, another team in the AFC playoff picture, at Arrowhead.
Most impressive of all are the injuries the Chiefs have been dealing with. Last Sunday it was Justin Houston who missed the game. They've been without Allen Bailey and return specialist De'Anthony Thomas for weeks. The offensive line has a new starter every week because of injuries. Tackle Donald Stephenson was playing guard last week while guard Zach Fulton was playing center. They're a deep team.
Let's see what they're saying about the Chiefs...
The Chiefs have won six games in a row and now look like locks for one of the AFC's Wild Card spots. They're getting decisive and efficient play from Alex Smith, who hasn't thrown a pick in 304 straight pass attempts, but maybe more importantly, he's showing the ability and willingness to attack downfield. With that element in their offense, and with the way their defense is playing right now, the Chiefs can really play with anybody in this league.
The Chiefs have won six in a row and they've been winning decisively. The Chiefs' average margin of victory this season is an NFL-high 17.1 points.
Indianapolis playoff redemption is looming.
Six wins in a row for the Chiefs, who looked like they might blow it after Cairo Santos botched an extra-point kick following a Jeremy Maclin TD that put K.C. up 26-20. Bear in mind that Santos participated in a biffed extra-point attempt on the Chiefs' previous score, leaving two very important points on the field. With that narrow lead in danger, former Raider Tyvon Branch made the play of the season for Kansas City, ensuring victory with a crucial pick-six. The Chiefs will see Oakland again in Week 17 -- and, given that their next three games will be against the Chargers, Ravens and Browns, they might be 10-5 and riding a nine-game winning streak by then.
They only have one more road game, and their remaining opponents are 14-34. Broncos better be careful not to trip up.
At Oakland was their last real test, and they passed it. Any NFL team can beat any other NFL team on the right day, but the Chiefs have an easy schedule from here on out. Their path to the playoffs is clear.
Not trying to denigrate the Chiefs, but they easily could have lost at Oakland without three opportune interceptions by Derek Carr on Sunday.