Despite Loss, Chiefs Still In First Place

As I left Arrowhead Stadium last Sunday, I couldn't help but hear the voice of former Cardinals head coach Dennis Green ringing in my head.

"We let ‘em off the hook!"

While the Chiefs may have done just enough to secure a victory in some parallel universe, the reality was that the Packers did more – Brett Favre did more. He willed his team to victory just as he has done dozens and dozens of times in the past. As the end of the game neared, a Favre comeback became as predictable as a sunrise.

But I was also scoreboard watching the entire game, and when the day was over the Chiefs were still in first place. One step back, one step forward, I thought.

The AFC West is downright abysmal, which fortunately for the Chiefs plays in their favor. They have the same advantage toward winning a division title as they did prior to losing to the Packers.

With that said, what do the Chiefs take from last weekend's game, besides a greater appreciation for Favre?

Nothing. That should be it. They got beat by a better team with a Hall of Fame quarterback. Dwelling on that loss could lead to a major hiccup against the Broncos.

That won't happen.

Despite the fact that KC's offense is ranked near the bottom of the league in nearly every category, expect a big day. There's really no logical basis for this - the Chiefs will be without the services of Larry Johnson - but that will not hamper them one bit.

It's not as if Johnson has run all over everyone and the Chiefs will now be without a ground attack. They haven't had a running game all season. It's hard to understand why the coaching staff is so reluctant to spread the offense out until they absolutely have to.

Because of Johnson's absence the Chiefs will be forced to do things different offensively from the opening kickoff, but the irony is they don't really need to against Denver's woeful defense.

In what should be a glorified scrimmage, Priest Holmes and rookie Kolby Smith could both have a shot at 100 yards. Eddie Kennison, if healthy, will likely make his transformation into Jerry Rice against his old team. Gonzalez will continue to build his legacy and Dwayne Bowe will stretch the field.

The only real question that remains for this game is who will lead this offensive onslaught? Rumors are that a switch to Brodie Croyle may be in order. Frankly, it doesn't matter - not this week anyway. The Chiefs could win this game with Steve DeBerg at quarterback.

Denver's defense is anemic, and that, coupled with a home game in the second half of the season, equals a dominating Chiefs victory. Since the end of the Marty era, the Chiefs have lost consecutive home games only once after October 31st.

Assuming the Colts take care of business against the Chargers, the Chiefs could essentially hold a one and a half game stranglehold on the division. Maintaining that lead is the only route towards hosting a playoff game in January and I'll say it until I'm blue in the face - anything can happen in the playoffs. Even (gulp) a Chiefs victory.

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