Entering the game, the team had already won its eighth straight AFC West championship and solidified its position as the No. 3 seed in the upcoming AFC playoffs. This allowed it to rest its starters, depending on reserve players to get the job done in Los Angeles.
But the Chiefs will need all hands on deck this Saturday, when they open the postseason with a home matchup against the AFC’s sixth seed: the Miami Dolphins. Should Kansas City win that game, there’s a good chance the team will have to do something it hasn’t done since the 2015 season: face a playoff game on the road.
While discussions about the potential challenges of being away from home during the postseason linger, the Chiefs exude confidence. They are ready to dismiss doubts (and showcase their resilience) beyond the familiar confines of the iconic GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.
Still, doubts have circulated regarding Kansas City’s ability to thrive away from its home turf. Some critics suggest that the team’s home field — often lauded as the loudest in the league — and the formidable Chiefs Kingdom might no longer be the team’s secret weapons. This season has shown, however, that the Chiefs can secure victories outside the comfort of their home stadium.
In 2023, the Chiefs have actually compiled a better record on the road than they have at home, going 6-2 away and 4-4 at home — excluding the neutral-site game in Germany.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has also demonstrated a penchant for performing better under the pressure of road games. Statistically, Mahomes has outshone his home performances, throwing for 15,033 yards and 119 touchdowns (with a QBR of 107.6) in his 49 road games, games, which surpass his 13,391 yards, 100 touchdowns, and 99.3 QBR of in 47 home games. Put simply: Mahomes and the Chiefs are more than capable of winning crucial away matchups.
And in 2023, the Chiefs’ defense has been a force to be reckoned with, ranking second in yards (4,926) and points (294) allowed, third in net passing yards per attempt (4.9), first in pressures (174) and pressure percentage (26.7), second in sacks (57) and first in sack percentage (9.3). This defensive prowess positions Kansas City well in any playoff scenario.
In essence, the narrative that the Chiefs can’t find postseason success on the road should be dismissed. With a resilient defense, a quarterback who thrives in challenging environments and a track record that belies any doubts, the Chiefs have the tools to triumph on any stage.
As we have seen so clearly this season, the team’s only real obstacle is itself. Limiting drops, minimizing turnovers and optimizing red-zone efficiency will be the keys to securing another Super Bowl championship.
As the playoffs approach, Chiefs fans can rest assured that the team is well-equipped for success — both at home and on the road.