A Much Needed Win

KANSAS CITY, MO - After a pair of tough road losses – a game they arguably could have won against Indy, and a game they definitely should have won against Houston – the Chiefs got back on track with Sunday's 42-20 victory over Jacksonville.

The win lifts their record to a highly respectable 4-2, which not only matches their entire victory total from last season, but also makes them the only team in the AFC West with a winning record. Even better, losses by San Diego and Denver have dropped them both to 2-5, a full three games behind K.C. in the loss column.

As important as it was for the Chiefs to rebound from their two disappointing losses, merely thinking of this outing as a "bounce back" win might be downplaying its significance. By season's end, we could end up looking back on this victory as a critical one.

Because as the Chiefs' early struggles against the Todd Bouman-led Jaugars showed, nothing can be taken for granted in the NFL. And that theme may play out in the weeks ahead as we look to the Chiefs' upcoming schedule.

Their next game against the winless Buffalo Bills looks a lot more daunting after Buffalo went to Baltimore and put a serious scare into the mighty Ravens. In the waning minutes of regulation the Bills scored ten unanswered points before falling in overtime 37-34.

The Chiefs are flying high in the AFC West.
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So regardless of their 0-6 record, a team that goes on the road and puts up 34 points on Baltimore can hardly be considered an easy win.

And without a victory on the season, the Bills will be a desperate and perhaps dangerous team as they roll into Arrowhead.

After that, the Chiefs head back out on the road and play their first away games in the division. They start off at Oakland, who just went to Denver and completely embarrassed the Broncos 59-14.

With a difficult schedule that still includes games against Pittsburgh, Miami, and Indianapolis, the Raiders haven't been spoken of too often as a possible threat to win the AFC West. But their eye-opening beat down of Denver shows that this game could easily be another stumbling block for the Chiefs.

From there, Kansas City travels to Denver, with the Broncos coming off their bye week. After the utter humiliation they suffered at home against the Raiders, one would expect Denver to be dead-set on both erasing the bitter taste of that defeat and on injecting some life back into their season by knocking off the division-leading Chiefs.

Three games, three potential traps for a team that let a 38 year-old journeyman quarterback hang around a little too long on Sunday. If the Chiefs suffer through some unexpected stumbles in the next few weeks, victories like the one over Jacksonville may end up being the difference between disappointment and a division title.

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