Chiefs Have No Margin for Error

After Sunday's heartbreaking loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the Kansas City Chiefs have found themselves in a bind. They're still masters of their own destiny-win out, and they will stamp their ticket to the NFL's postseason party. Lose one of the remaining three games, and more than likely they'll find themselves watching the games at home like the rest of us.

It's a very simple concept. Win the rest of their games and the Chiefs will make the playoffs. Sounds easy enough, right? Three games, that's it. The problem is, simple as the concept may sound, the reality is that the Chiefs are in deep trouble. The next three games are the NFL's equivalent to running through Hell with gasoline-soaked undergarments.

Left on the schedule: the New York Giants on the road, and the San Diego Chargers and Cincinnati Bengals in the friendly confines of Arrowhead. To think that before the season, everyone thought that the beginning of the season was going to be the toughest stretch of the year. All three teams are in the top ten offensively, and each team is capable of beating you defensively also.

The Chiefs descent into the inferno begins Sunday, where the Chiefs have to accomplish what's previously been impossible, beat the Giants in their house. The Chiefs have never, ever beat the Giants at Giants Stadium, and this version of the Giants looks every bit as imposing as in previous years. Not only are the Giants the 7th ranked offense in the NFL, but the defense has forced more fumbles than anyone in the league, and is ranked 7th in the league in sacks.

Next on the schedule is the San Diego Chargers at in Kansas City on Christmas Eve. Hopefully, the Chargers will be focused on getting home for Christmas, but that probably won't be the case. The Chargers know that if they're to have any hope of making the playoffs, they must win this game. San Diego brings the league's top ranked rushing defense and the NFL's best player, LaDainian Tomlinson to the fray. The Chargers will be coming off a tough game against the Indianapolis Colts, and likely will be fighting to save their season.

The Chiefs wrap up the regular season with this year's likely AFC North Division Champion, the Cincinnati Bengals. If the Chiefs are lucky, the Bengals will have already clinched the division, and will be looking to rest their starters for a possible game against the Chiefs the following week, if the Chiefs do indeed qualify. The Bengals have more take-aways than any other team in the NFL. Oh, yeah, their offense is pretty good, too.

This is it for the Chiefs. It's Crunch-time. With the Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers bearing down, the Chiefs have to take care of business the next three weeks. That means three wins. If Kansas City drops any of these next games, they take their playoff destiny out of their own hands, which could end up biting them in the end. Of course, if the Chiefs truly want to be players in the playoffs, it's far better to kick down the door than to back in.

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