The Kansas City Chiefs haven’t played in a Super Bowl since Hank Stram matriculated the ball down the field to a win over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV.
Now you know the answer when someday asks before Super Bowl LIII kicks off on Feb. 3.
We welcome the Chiefs back to the top of Tiebreaker.com’s AFC power rankings.
Kansas City Chiefs
It’s enlightening to realize the worst thing that’s happened to a team is having a trip to Mexico canceled. We know Monday Night’s epic matchup with the Los Angeles Rams will be no siesta. But it’s been moved to LA because of terrible field conditions. With the Rams coming, the improvement in KC’s defense, which has 31 sacks, is important because it’s been the missing link. But let’s not forget its offense has also scored at least 26 points in all 10 games.
New England Patriots
Admit it. You didn’t see the comprehensive meltdown to the Titans coming. Everything was going too well. The team was planning for more trophy space. Then all of sudden, their offense was turned into oatmeal by an inspired defense that allowed only 40 rushing yards. Not to worry, the Pats are going to win the AFC East. But you’ve got to at least consider the possibility things may not go much further.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Bolts have won six straight and we’ll remind you once again their only two losses have been the Chiefs and Rams. What’s interesting, other than the fine play of Philip Rivers, is their defense last allowed an average of just over 15 points in those six wins and Joey Bosa, their best defender, has been in sweatpants all season.
Finally, the Le’Veon Bell has tolled. No sweat. The Steelers are fine. Their only concern at the position is the health of James Conner, who is in concussion protocol. The Steelers haven’t played since crushing the Panthers. And that was some night for Big Ben. Kurt Warner was the only QB in league history to throw for 300 yards and five TDs with three of fewer incompletes in one game until Roethlisberger did it.
The Texans have lassoed six straight wins to take control of the AFC South, a major accomplishment consider how they started the season. With J.J. Watt finally healthy, the potential of the Texans defense is finally being realized. It has allowed only 92.9 rushing yards per game and has been basically impenetrable in the red zone.
Teams looking for head coaches invariably turn to sexy coordinators and there may not be one more alluring right now than Dean Pees, the titan of the Titans defense. Pees and Titans coach Mike Vrabel, the former Pats linebacker and assistant, put together the ultimate master plan to hold the Pats to 10 points, sacking Tommy Boy three times in the process. If you hate the Pats, man, was that fun to watch.
We feel sorry for the Dolphins, otherwise they’d be sleeping with the fishes in our deep blue sea. The Packers slaughtered them. They have allowed at least 164 rushing yards in half of their games. The offense hasn’t scored a TD in 27 straight possessions. We just can’t bring ourselves to hurt Dolphins. They are so cute – and very intelligent, too.
Andrew Luck is the comeback player of the year. If you want to connect his renaissance to Frank Reich’s arrival as head coach, please be our guest. You might be right. Luck has 26 TD passes, second only to Pat Mahomes. And one of the best reasons for his success is the way his offense line is playing. Only the work of federal marshalls protecting El Chapo compares to no sacks in five games.
If someone flipped John Harbaugh over, you’d probably notice his expiration date is December 2018. It happens to them all, right? You are hired to be fired (Top 10 in worst clichés). The Ravens have lost three straight and four of five. They have allowed an average of 373 yards in those last three defeats. And now there is concern for the health of Joe Flacco, which could mean the start of the Lamar Jackson era. Just image how riotous it will get for Harbaugh if the Ravens lose to Cincinnati and Oakland, too.
If Grover Cleveland could be president twice and Billy Martin could manage the New York Yankees five times, there’s no reason Hue Jackson couldn’t work for the Bengals three times. His best buddy, Marvin Lewis, brought Jackson, the former coach of the Cleveland Browns, back again to help handle logistics while Lewis tries to mend the league’s worst defense. How bad is the Bengals defense? It’s on pace to break the league record for most yards allowed in one season (7,042), set by the 2012 Saints. Yeah, THAT bad.
Jackson’s old team has a youthful feel. The Browns have won only three games, but if GM John Dorsey finds the right head coach, they might ride the confidence of Baker Mayfield to new heights and then party in The Flats. By the way, Nick Chubb’s 92-yard run against the Atlanta Falcons was the longest in Browns history and they once had a back named Jim Brown.
By far, without a doubt, not subject to debate, the Jaguars are the biggest disappointment in the league this season. Last year, they were just a few minutes away from playing the Super Bowl. This season, they look like a bunch of chumps. They have lost five straight. At this point, Jaguars fans probably wouldn’t care if the league eventually moves the team to London.
How can a team with Von Miller on its defense, which won its first two games, lose six of their last seven games? That might be the first question John Elway asks Vance Joseph during his exit interview. The Broncos were 5-11 last season. There is website aptly named “FireVanceJoseph” where a hit is really a hit. Did you see who the Broncos are playing on Sunday? The Chargers. Gulp.
The Bills have turned to four QBs this season, starting with Josh Allen, their first-round pick. Then Allen was injured forcing them to use Nathan Peterman and Derek Anderson. That didn’t work, either. So they signed former USC star Matt Barkley and threw him into the fire against the New York Jets. Actually, considering it was the Jets, it was more of a toaster oven. The Jets stink. The Bills scored 41 points, more than they had in their four previous games (33). Problem solved.
New York Jets
The only people happy with last week’s demolition derby were the headline writers at the New York tabloids. They crushed the Jets – all in good fun, of course. A New Jersey man was arrested for DUI and explained to the police that he drank too much because “the Jets suck.” Exhibit A: They gained 199 yards against the Bills. Exhibit B: The defense allowed 451. Who needs a drink?
Owner Mark Davis rushed to Jon Gruden’s defense after the team dropped to 1-8. Davis took all the blame, but took The Fifth about giving Gruden $100 million, both a high crime and misdemeanor. Derek Carr is one pace to take 50 sacks this season. If your Carr was hit 50 times, imagine how hard it would be to get insurance. The only thing going for this franchise is it has five first-round picks in the next two years. Don’t worry, David Carr’s career is already over.