The Kansas City Chiefs avenged their only loss of the season so far with Sunday night’s victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. Kansas City is now 9-1 and through 10 games, they are second only to the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers in both the NFL and AFC standings. Despite being in second place, the Kansas City Chiefs are the best team in the NFL.
The Kansas City Chiefs are the NFL’s Best Team
A Weak Running Game
To be the best team in the NFL, a team must be well-rounded in all phases of the game. Both the Steelers and Chiefs have elite passing attacks to lead dominant offenses. Yet, an offense is not complete without both passing and running the ball effectively. Unfortunately, in Pittsburgh, their running game has been consistently lackluster throughout the season.
Ranked 22nd in rush yards per game, the Steelers’ dominant offense is one dimensional. Starting running back James Conner only averages 64 rushing yards per game as the lead back in a Steelers offense that rarely sees a loaded box. The offensive line has also struggled to run block in numerous games. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs rank in the top half of the league in rushing with rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire proving to be a dynamic option out of the backfield. The Steelers must fix their running game woes before they can overtake the Chiefs as the best team in the league.
Strength of Schedule
The Kansas City Chiefs remain the top team in the NFL because they have played a significantly harder schedule than the Pittsburgh Steelers. If the season were to end today, the Steelers would have played the easiest schedule in football through 10 games. Cross conference, the Steelers play four games against the oft-ridiculed NFC East, while the Chiefs get matchups against the NFC South. To be the best, you have to play the best and the Chiefs have played better competition than the Steelers.
A Loss on the Record
Yes, Kansas City has one loss on their record. Yet, this loss has been avenged with the Chiefs’ most recent victory over the Raiders. By beating the team they lost to, no team in the NFL can claim they are better than the Chiefs. Similarly, the Chiefs’ flaws shown in the loss to the Raiders would be non-factors against the Steelers. The Chiefs’ struggles against the Raiders came on the defensive side of the ball as they struggled to get a pass rush and with secondary coverage. Much of the struggles can be attributed to the focus the Chiefs put on stopping the run and the NFL’s 4th leading rusher in Josh Jacobs which thereby opened up the Raiders passing attack. Against the aforementioned lackluster Steelers rushing attack, more focus can be given to stopping the pass, allowing an underrated Chiefs defense to improve.
The Patrick Mahomes Factor
The Kansas City Chiefs remain the best team in football because they have football’s best player, Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes leads the league in passing yards and is near the top of every other category. However, statistics alone don’t tell the story of how great Mahomes has been this season. His two-minute go-ahead drive against the Raiders on Sunday Night demonstrated how he can take over a game. The Steelers don’t have a player like this. Mahomes is in a class of his own and it’s a class that makes Kansas City the best team in the NFL.
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