The 2021 NFL regular season is entering its final stages, with each of the 32 teams only having three more games to play before the playoffs begin. Every football fan on the planet knows momentum is key to playoff success. It is vitally important to go into the playoffs with a few wins under your belt, which is exactly what the Kansas City Chiefs are doing.
Kansas City Chiefs were incredible in 2020. They ended the regular season with an impressive 14-2 record, with their only defeats coming against Las Vegas Raiders on Week 5 and Los Angeles Chargers on Week 17, the latter the result of Head Coach Andy Reid resting a few key players with his side guaranteed to top the AFC West.
The Chiefs were impressive during the playoffs, and all the US sportsbooks had them as clear favorites to win Super Bowl LV. However, it is far to say they fell apart at the Super Bowl, resulting in a 9-31 defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who won their first Super Bowl since 2002.
A major reason for the defeat was fielding Patrick Mahomes when he was not fully fit. Two weeks earlier, the star quarterback suffered a concussion against Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship. Mahomes then sustained a turf toe injury that ultimately resulted in surgery after the season ended.
A Disappointing Start to the Season
Chiefs looked strong in preseason, where they won all three of their fixtures. You cannot read too much into preseason games because players are not fully fit while coaches try new plays and tactics. Still, Chiefs fans went into the 2021 regular season full of confidence of reaching their third consecutive Super Bowl. A 33-29 opening day victory over the Cleveland Browns got the Chiefs off to a winning start, but Reid’s men struggled for form and were nursing a poor 3-4 record by Week 7.
Mahomes was not firing on all cylinders, although he showed glimpses of the MVP he can be. Furthermore, the Chiefs looked a mess defensively, allowing 30 points in four straight games. Something had to change and change fast; otherwise, the Chiefs faced the genuine possibility of missing out on the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
All credit to Reid and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo because the countless hours they put in on the training field has worked wonders for the Chiefs’ previously porous defense. Since Week 8, the Chiefs have gone 7-0 and allowed only 93 points, for an average of 13.28 points per game. That lowly total would have been much lower, but the Chiefs won 34-28 against the Los Angeles Chargers on Week 15. In four of the seven-game winning streak, the Chiefs’ defense has restricted their opponents to single-digit scores. Every football fan knows that teams with tight defenses have every chance of glory; you cannot lose football games if you do not allow your opponents to score.
Mahomes Is Back In Form
At the other end of the field, Mahomes looks to be hitting his stride again with the playoffs approaching. Mahomes was extremely poor in the 22-9 victory over the Broncos on Week 13, finishing with a mere 57.3 rating, which was the worst of the season. However, he was unstoppable in the 48-9 demolition of the Las Vegas Raiders, completing 20 of his 24 passes and ending the game with a 139.2 rating. He was equally as impressive last time out against the Chargers, throwing for 410 yards and three touchdowns.
With Mahomes rediscovering his form in the pocket and the defense seeming impenetrable, you have all the ingredients of a Super Bowl-winning team. No doubt, the Green Bay Packers and reigning champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have something to say about that. Still, everything points to a Chiefs coming away victors on February 13 at the SoFi Stadium in California.