Drum Beats: Bye Questions

So just what, exactly, is going on with the Kansas City Chiefs? They headed into this week's bye with a 4-3 record, good enough to put them atop the AFC West, but still find themselves faced with a myriad of questions.

The biggest one is what to expect from Kansas City in the second half. The Chiefs are in the midst of a defensive renaissance, and are ranked in the top 10 for the first time since longer than most fans want to remember. The offense - well, the offense has it's moments, they've definitely looked pretty darn good at times. Other times, not so much.

The Chiefs have put themselves in a good spot - they're 2-0 in the division, and both of those wins came on the road. At this point, Kansas City's best chance of making the playoffs is to win the division, and those two wins put them ahead of the curve.

We've seen two teams so far this season, a good one and a pretty bad one, so no one knows for sure which will show up the second half of the year. We can however, take a look ahead to the rest of the season and analyze the pitfalls lying in wait.

1. Themselves - Public enemy number one. We've seen this show before from the Chiefs. They're a pretty good team, with a good shot to make the playoffs, but they'll likely drop a winnable game or two along the way, just because. The Chiefs have been known to stub their own toes in any given year recently, and frankly this team hasn't done much to garner a whole heck of a lot of confidence.

Are they on the way up? Yes. Are they even close to where they should be? No. Herm Edwards still has some work to do with these guys to bring them up to his standards

Remember the Miami and Cincinnati games last year? How about the Buffalo, Dallas and New York Giants games from 2005? The Chiefs are going to have to maintain focus and stay consistent in the second half of the year if they're serious about making a playoff push.

2. December - The Chiefs are bad on the road in December. They beat the Raiders in Oakland last season, and there was plenty of reason to celebrate the victory – it was the first December road win since 2004. If this is a better team, we'd better see some road wins in the final quarter of the season, and the Chiefs will have plenty of chances - three of the final five games are on the road - at Denver, at Detroit, and at the New York Jets.

3. The Division - The biggest drawback to being 4-3 and leading the division is that you're only 4-3. The rest of the division could theoretically catch up this week - both San Diego and Denver are 3-3 and right behind the Chiefs. Things are tough emotionally for the Chargers right now with the wildfires sweeping through southern California, but San Diego is an exceptionally talented team and could starting playing up to their ability at any time. That would be bad news for the entire AFC West.

The Broncos will challenge for the division. The quality of the challenge remains to be seen. Denver isn't the same team it's been the last few years or so, but they've got the moxie and enough tools to take a run at the Chiefs. Kansas City's only been able to put a half game's distance between the two squads.

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