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Kansas City Chiefs Week 17 Keys to Victory

Kansas City Chiefs Week 17 Keys to Victory: If the Chiefs want to do this, they’ll have to beat a divisional opponent in the San Diego Chargers.

The final week of the regular season is finally here. The AFC playoff teams have been locked in, making this week a battle for seeding. The Kansas City Chiefs have a spot in the playoffs but are hoping to snatch the first round bye away from the Oakland Raiders this week. If the Chiefs want to do this, they’ll have to beat a divisional opponent in the San Diego Chargers. Last time these teams met, the Chiefs came away with a dramatic overtime victory. If KC wants to complete their sweep of every AFC West team, they will need to focus on these key areas.

Kansas City Chiefs Week 17 Keys to Victory

Keep Everyone Healthy

With a playoff spot already secured, the Chiefs top priority must be to remain in good health. The last thing Kansas City needs would be for another key player, such as Eric Berry or Tyreek Hill to go down with an injury. We saw what happened to the Raiders last week when Derek Carr went down with a fractured fibula. The Raiders Super Bowl dreams left the field with Carr that day.

Kansas City needs to be as cautious as possible this week. It’s likely we won’t see Justin Houston in the lineup again due to swelling in his knee. The coaching staff obviously wants him at 100 percent for the playoffs and won’t risk further aggravation this week. Spencer Ware is currently nursing bruised ribs as well. The smart move would be to sit him. Charcandrick West has proven himself to be a capable back that could easily carry the load for one game.

If it were up to me, I wouldn’t even start Alex Smith this Sunday. The risk of injury to him far outweighs what could be gained from starting him. It’s not pretty, but the NFL season is a grind and often times the healthiest teams end up playing in the Super Bowl.

Force San Diego to Run the Ball

It’s no surprise that the San Diego Chargers have been very efficient this season through the air. With a quarterback as talented as Philip Rivers, it’s expected. Kansas City will need to make sure Rivers can’t throw the ball downfield to speedsters like Dontrelle Inman and Tyrell Williams. They have a knack for finding space down the sideline as well as over the middle punishing defensive backs for playing underneath.

If the Chiefs can do this, San Diego will be forced to run the ball. This would be ideal since the Chargers leading rusher, Melvin Gordon, is currently nursing an injury that could leave him out for this week’s game. Of course, this would result in Kenneth Farrow having to start in Gordon’s place. Farrow is not anywhere near as dynamic as Gordon. Farrow lacks speed as well as the pass catching ability that the second year man out of Wisconsin has. San Diego is going to have to play very one-dimensional football, so selling out on the pass may be the right move for Bob Sutton’s defense.

Get the Ball to Travis Kelce

Travis Kelce has had five games of 100 yards receiving in the last six weeks. His target share has continued to go up as the season has gone on. Last week against the Denver Broncos, Kelce finished with a season-high 11 receptions. One stat that really jumped out this week was that Alex Smith has never thrown an interception when Kelce was the targeted receiver. It just shows how much of a safety blanket Kelce has become for Smith. Targeting Kelce early and often will open up the field for the wide receivers. After all with pass catchers like Travis Kelce, Jeremy Maclin, and Tyreek Hill any defense could find themselves mismatched.


The Chiefs can clinch the AFC West and gain the number two seed in the playoffs with a win over the Chargers and a Denver Broncos victory. A first round bye is certainly something the Chiefs would like to have, but is it worth risking your star players? We’ll find out what Andy Reid and his staff think this Sunday.


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