The Kansas City Chiefs won’t play Sunday, as they are on their bye week. Their practice schedule should resume as usual on Monday, but if you are still planning to watch football Sunday, here’s who you should be rooting for in each game when it comes to the Chiefs.
The early games (Noon Arrowhead time)
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7) at Buffalo Bills (3-7)
The Jaguars are one of a few teams this season who came into their game against the Kansas City Chiefs considered good, and the wheels came off after their loss. The Chiefs were the first of six straight losses for the Jaguars entering Sunday. With both teams very much unlikely to make the playoffs and having the same record, this one matters little when it comes to the Chiefs. ROOT FOR: Your choice.
Cleveland Browns (3-6-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-5)
Ah, the Hue Jackson revenge game is here. Since the Bengals lost to the Chiefs, they have gone 1-2, bringing on Jackson after his firing in Cleveland. Jackson is now the special assistant to the head coach in Cincinnati. I don’t think this game will affect the Chiefs all that much, but if you have to root for somebody in this one, it’s the Browns based upon two things—the record and the sweatshirt. The Bengals go on an AFC West tour after this, with the Broncos, Chargers and Raiders the next three weeks. ROOT FOR: Cleveland.
New England Patriots (7-3) at New York Jets (3-7)
The Patriots currently sit third in the conference behind the Steelers and Chiefs, and since they don’t control their own destiny, need a few things to break their way while winning every game themselves if they want home-field advantage in the playoffs. A New York Jets upset makes that road more difficult. ROOT FOR: New York.
New York Giants (3-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-6)
This game matters very little when it comes to the Chiefs, but it’s worth noting that its head-coaching matchup pits two Andy Reid protégés against one another in the Giants’ Pat Shurmur and the Eagles’ Doug Pederson. Change in Super Bowl champions is good, right? Give this one to the Giants since the Eagles already had their parade last year. ROOT FOR: New York.
San Francisco 49ers (2-8) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7)
If you love the third day of the draft as much as the Arrowhead Pride Nerd Squad and really want to reach here, the Chiefs have the option to swap 2019 seventh-rounders thanks to the Rod Streater trade, so a Bucs win makes that position slightly better. As you’ll read below, a 49ers loss also helps keeps them ahead of the Raiders for the top draft pick next year. ROOT FOR: Tampa Bay.
Seattle Seahawks (5-5) at Carolina Panthers (6-4)
This being another NFC-only matchup, your rooting interest as a Chiefs fan in this game depends on your taste. That being said, I consider Week 16’s Sunday Night Football against the Seahawks one of two question marks the Chiefs have remaining on their schedule. It makes sense to keep Seattle out of desperation mode when that game rolls around. ROOT FOR: Seattle.
Oakland Raiders (2-8) at Baltimore Ravens (5-5)
The Raiders have had such a bad season that rooting for them down the stretch as a Chiefs fan actually makes sense in many cases. In this matchup, the Ravens are trying to maintain playoff position (they are currently in the final AFC wild-card spot) while the Raiders could acquire the draft’s top pick by continuing to lose. Their last-second win against the Cardinals last week has now placed them in a three-way tie for lowest record in the league with Arizona and San Francisco, so another win would take them out of that mix. ROOT FOR: Oakland.
The late-afternoon games (3:00 p.m. hour Arrowhead Time)
Arizona Cardinals (2-8) at Los Angeles Chargers (7-3) | 3:05 p.m.
Even after last week’s surprise loss to the Broncos, the Chargers are still one of four AFC teams who could challenge the Chiefs for home-field position in the playoffs. The Cardinals are the team to root for on Sunday. ROOT FOR: Arizona.
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2-1) at Denver Broncos (4-6) | 3:25 p.m.
Similar to the above case with the Raiders, the Broncos have all but played themselves out of making the postseason this year. With the Steelers knocking on the Chiefs’ door for top seed in the AFC, it will be time to swallow your pride and get your donkey hats out. A Broncos win would provide the Chiefs with some breathing room. ROOT FOR: Denver.
Miami Dolphins (5-5) at Indianapolis Colts (5-5) | 3:25 p.m.
This is a game that is up in the air for me. As a Chiefs fan, you could root for the Colts based upon former personnel man Chris Ballard’s first year as general manager, but I think Andrew Luck is a way scarier prospect to upset teams in the playoffs than whatever is left of Ryan Tannehill. With that in mind, I think you lean Miami if you’re a Chiefs fan in order to keep the under-the-radar Colts out of the AFC playoffs. ROOT FOR: Miami.
Sunday Night Football (7:20 p.m. Arrowhead Time)
Green Bay Packers (4-5-1) at Minnesota Vikings (5-4-1)
This game has little impact on the Chiefs and their playoff chances, but citing the previous quarterback reason, I would much rather see Kirk Cousins before Aaron Rodgers in a Super Bowl (It’s OK to start thinking big, Chiefs fans). ROOT FOR: Minnesota.
Monday Night Football (7:15 p.m. Arrowhead Time)
Tennessee Titans (5-5) at Houston Texans (7-3)
It is one of those things you’d only notice if you’re paying attention, but after starting the season with three straight losses, the Texans have won seven straight games headed into their Monday Night Football matchup with the Tennessee Titans. I think this will be a better game than some people may give it credit for in the buildup, and with the Texans being one of those teams who could find a way down the stretch to knock the Chiefs from their perch, pull for the Titans in this one as a Chiefs fan. ROOT FOR: Tennessee.