Reality Bites: Making the Playoffs

Facing a must win on Saturday in New York against the Giants the Chiefs chances of making the post season could center on their ability to win their final road contest of the season. With little chance for a home game in the post season, Kansas City needs to learn how to win on foreign turf if they expect to advance in the playoffs.

Let's look ahead for a second. Say the Kansas City Chiefs do indeed make the playoffs, which we all know if they win all their remaining games they will. The loss to the Cowboys assured that if they make the playoffs they will do so as a wild card, probably as the sixth and final seed. That means to get to the Super Bowl they'll have to accomplish what no fifth or sixth seeded team has done. Ever. The Baltimore Ravens, the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders have all won Super Bowls as wild card teams. They were also all four seeds, meaning they all had at least one home game. Fifth or sixth seeded teams must win three consecutive road games to make the Super Bowl.

With the sixth seed, the Chiefs will more than likely have to face the Cincinnati Bengals, the Indianapolis Colts, and probably the Denver Broncos, all on the road.

Worse, the Chiefs have not won a game in January since 1982. The last time the Chiefs won a January game, they were wrapping a strike shortened campaign that finished with a 3-6 record. That was a regular season game. The last time the Chiefs won a playoff game in January was the 1969 Super Bowl.

The three bad losses the Chiefs have suffered this year (the Philadelphia Eagles, the Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys) are huge now. Losses early in the season can be overcome, but the reality is that eventually, they add up and despite the overall success of a team, losses can undermine a season. Losses make the difference between hosting a playoff game or two, or being where the Chiefs are now, looking at the most difficult path to the Super Bowl.

Whether or not this Chiefs team is up to the task, remains to be seen. This team has been up and down all season, and just when it seems they've hit their stride, there's a hiccup. This Kansas City Chiefs club at it's best could do serious damage in the playoffs, but as talented as the current Chiefs team is, if they do make the playoffs, they'll be hard pressed to really accomplish anything.

One thing is certain, merely making the playoffs won't be enough for the been-there-done-that Kansas City fans. The fans want to see this Chiefs team do more than merely qualify, they want them to win. The problem is, asking the Chiefs to do that may just be asking the impossible.

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