"We have a chance to improve ourselves, a chance to grab the No. 2 seed," Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. "Getting the bye the first week would be great if it happens, and getting the home playoff game." The Chiefs can be the No. 2, No. 5 or No. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs.
Chris Jones continues to be disruptive; he recorded two quarterback hits, three quarterback hurries and a pass deflection. The ceiling for him is certainly high.
Alex Smith got the ball out extremely quickly this week; his average time to attempt a pass (2.08 seconds) was the fastest among qualifying quarterbacks, with Andy Dalton of the Bengals finishing with the second-fastest time (2.20 seconds).
"He could have played," Reid said Monday. "I decided to keep him out. He was sore."
"That’s the Chiefs for you," Talib said. "They wanted to get their crowd into it." But disrespectful? "Nah, it’s football. There was still time on the clock," Talib said. "They were close enough to score a touchdown and we stopped them in the run a couple of times, so they came with a fake run-pass. If you know the Chiefs, you know when they get inside that 10, they’re gonna come with crazy kind of formation, crazy plays. This time they had a d-tackle pass for us. We already knew the Chiefs were going to have something for us in the red zone."
If the Raiders lose and the Chiefs win though, Kansas City would capture the division title based on the head-to-head tie-breaker and earn the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. The Raiders would slip to the No. 5 seed and hit the road to face the Houston Texans (9-6) in the first round of the playoffs.
In the Kansas City market, the Broncos-Chiefs game posts a 42.8/69, the second-best ever for the Chiefs on "Sunday Night Football" (behind only the 51.5/72 versus the Broncos on Nov. 17, 2013).
In a quarterback transition this season, Trevor Siemian mostly exceeded expectations as a first-year starter but ultimately fell short of guiding the Broncos to their sixth consecutive playoff appearance. One question confronting the Broncos in 2017 is will they continue to go forward with Siemian, or will it be time to play first-round draft pick Paxton Lynch. "Two young guys,'' Elway said. "They were put in the fire this year. Trevor came in and did some good things. Really feel pretty good about that position. We think we have two young guys who will continue to get better.’’