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Why this loss hurts the Chiefs so much

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I’ve seen some division among Chiefs fans around here as of late. Nothing like the election (thank God that’s over) but it’s still notable.

The Chiefs are 7-3. That is one of the best records in the league. Chiefs fans should be happy, right?

Let’s add some context to that...

For Chiefs fans, this is not just about making the playoffs. Chiefs fans are no longer impressed by just getting there. The 22-year playoff winless streak was already broken last year. They want to not only get there but also set themselves up for a run. Everything is viewed through the prism of a Super Bowl, not just getting there.

Chiefs fans know the value of a first round bye. I don’t think they’re good enough to go on the road and beat multiple playoff teams in a row. Sorry, I just don’t. This loss hurts because it’s a major ding on the Chiefs hopes for the No. 1 or 2 seed in the AFC and a first round bye.

Chiefs fans don’t want to waste a championship-worthy defense. This defense, man. They’re capable of winning a Super Bowl. They have all the pieces and they prove it regularly. Sunday against Tampa Bay was a hiccup (19 points is a hiccup for this group) but this defense is still legit. I don’t want this defensive run to end with nothing to show for it.

The offense is not playoff-worthy. Throw me any stats you want but the bottom line is that if you watch these Chiefs games you know the offense has not been playing well. They have the defense to back them up and they have the best special teams unit in the NFL to give them great starting position. And they’re not scoring touchdowns. Alex Smith is obviously a part of that, a big part of it. So is the running game. So is Andy Reid’s play calling and Travis Kelce’s drops (doesn’t seem fair to take a shot at Kelce when he had a big day). It’s not one easy and obvious fix. It’s the whole thing. Check this out for perspective:

Chiefs fans measure their team against elite teams. Some fans are over being impressed with wins over teams they should beat. Games against the Jaguars and Bucs don’t do much for me. The Chiefs should win those. What really matters is how the Chiefs play against New England, Pittsburgh, Oakland and Denver.

All that said ... I’m not saying the Chiefs can’t win. This is not a strong year in the AFC. I would take the Chiefs over any AFC team at Arrowhead save maybe the Patriots. If the defense can keep doing what they’re doing and the offense can not be bad, the Chiefs have a shot.