Dave Skretta, The Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs players were facing a 10-point deficit early in their game on the road Sunday against one of the best defensive units in the National Football League. Yet not only did they turn things around, they exploded to earn a 44-23 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
This victory completely changed the portrait of the Chiefs’ first half of the season.
Rather than heading into their bye week this weekend tied with the Los Angeles Chargers for first in the AFC West, the Chiefs improved to 5-2.
Also, they are only half a game behind the Buffalo Bills and the top of the general classification of the American Conference. And it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the Chiefs’ first seven meetings have been much tougher than what awaits them down the stretch.
Finally, perhaps the Chiefs are entitled to hope to host the American Conference Finals for the fifth straight year, a scenario that seemed utopian after a surprising loss in Indianapolis.
“Until our break, we had a tough schedule. We knew that before we started the season,” said quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who got up after an interception early in the game and completed Sunday’s game with 423 yards and three assists. of touch.
Of the ten games awaiting the Chiefs after their break, six will see them face clubs with records of .500 or lower. The list includes a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5), two against the Denver Broncos (2-5), a visit to the home of the Houston Texans (1-4-1) and a game against the Raiders of Las Vegas (2-4), to close out the regular season.
“It’s true, we lost two games that we wanted to win. But when you look back, and you’re 5-2 and first in the AFC West Division, you couldn’t be in better shape,” Mahomes said.
In fact, the Chiefs’ situation could be their best since training camp, with several members of their defensive unit potentially returning.
“It’s a good time to have (a break),” admitted head coach Andy Reid.
“I think she’s getting to a stage where we can afford to treat injuries in certain positions, especially cornerback, provided the guys are careful. And that’s my main concern right now; be back on time. It’s always important.”