On Sunday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs completely dismantled the Chicago Bears. In doing so, they reclaim the top spot in the AFC West, sit one game behind the Miami Dolphins for the top overall seed in the AFC, and appear back on track as the team to beat in the AFC.
After a Sunday full of NFL games, the narrative of the weekend action varies on which pundit has the platform to speak the loudest. In the AFC, the Miami Dolphins put 70 points on the sinking ship called the Denver Broncos. Think about that this morning.
Yet, for the Chiefs, despite the complete thumping of the Chicago Bears where they could have easily put a 50 spot on the NFC Central team, Taylor Swift’s appearance at Arrowhead watching Travis Kelce, made just as many headlines as the Dolphins’ lopsided victory.
The win for Kelce is nice, but the win for his Chiefs team reminds us all, that despite roster turnover, coaching changes, and their opponents, Kansas City understands their place in the hierarchy of football. They are without a shadow of a doubt, the best team in the NFL. On Sunday against a have not, they proved that.
They are this great because Patrick Mahomes became the fastest quarterback to surpass 25,000 passing yards at the age of 28. He did it in 83 games surpassing the mark set by Dan Marino, who did it in 92 games. Granted the passing era between Marino and Mahomes is different, but the Dolphins quarterback had a constant plethora of playmakers at his disposal for much of his success.
Mahomes on the other hand, outside of Kelce, and Tyreek Hill for a stretch, was a big part of reaching that milestone. Yet, the fact Mahomes has used different receivers virtually every year as a starter makes this record simply amazing.
For fans the record means something, and it brings out bragging rights that the Chiefs Kingdom has the best quarterback in the land, but while Mahomes knocks down more records, winning the game Sunday in the manner he did, was the best news of the day.
When Mahomes is at his best, and the Chiefs defense is channeling the dominance of the 1995 Chicago Bears, it makes you wonder what could happen next. Yes, I know the win was over the lowly and dysfunctional Bears, but a week earlier they beat a Jacksonville team with a struggling offense, that backed up that loss by losing to the Houston Texans 37-17 at home. The Jags were supposed to be the next to challenge Kansas City for conference supremacy.
Yes, it’s early in the season, but it’s clear to me the AFC will still come down to Kansas City and Buffalo. After a bitter opening night loss to the Jets, the Bills have laid the hammer down on the Las Vegas Raiders and Washington Commanders to bring back that championship look. Next Sunday the Dolphins travel to Buffalo, so we’ll learn a lot more about the Chiefs’ main rival, and if Miami can win a game in a real hostile environment.
Still, the gleam in the Chiefs eye has been constant during their incredible five-year run of AFC dominance. In doing so, they battle themselves and other teams in the NFL. The Bears effort Sunday was below subpar, but generally each week, they face opponents wanting to knock off the champs. Thus, teams raise their game to match the Chiefs, and in reverse Kansas City generally plays down to their opponent. Well, that might not be the case in 2023.
If I had a criticism about the Chiefs during this amazing period in their history, was their ability to get through the 17-game regular season in a manner that wasn’t always stampeding their opponents. If the Bears game is any indication that trend has changed, perhaps the Chiefs won’t lose another game this season. Perhaps they roll into the Super Bowl and win back-to-back Lombardi Trophies.
With a week four visit to face a struggling New York Jets football team Sunday Night, our reactionary period post-game might not be the same if the Chiefs lose to the inferior AFC East team. Yet, if they win, and dominate in that victory, we can all make the case, that Kansas City is on a mission, and that no team can derail them from accomplishing it this season.