The Chiefs have a chance to win the AFC West on Sunday when they head to Houston to take on the Texans.
A win against the Texans will extend the Chiefs record divisional win streak to seven years.
While the Chiefs maintain the most playoff berths out of the AFC West at 24 in NFL history, they have the fewest divisional wins out of the division. The Raiders, Chargers and Broncos have all won the west 15 times. The Chiefs have won it 14 times. A victory will tie the all time AFC West divisional championship at 15 for all four teams.
A seven year division win streak will be the second most in NFL history behind the New England Patriots, who had a ten game divisional win streak from 2009-2019.
The Texans are heading into this game very beat up. Some of their top players like star running back Dameon Pierce have missed practice time. At one point in the week, the Texans had 15 different players on their injury report. Out of these, 5 players were limited and 10 did not practice at all.
The Texans will likely be without stars, receiver Brandon Cooks and corner Derek Stingley. All of these are key players to miss more games.
On the flip side, the Chiefs have another week of being a healthy football team. The only player to be limited in practice was Kadarius Toney. However, the Chiefs have increased his work load throughout the week.
Mecole Hardman has also seen a similar treatment as he was moved onto the 21 day IR practice time. This means that the Chiefs have 21 days to put him on the 53 man roster. He could see playing time at any point. Both Toney and Hardman practiced during the week.
This game is a chance for the Chiefs to get back on track.
Something crucial this week is that the team needs to end their streak of eight straight games of turning the ball over. The Chiefs have had a problem with ball security over the last two months. It is not coming from one player or even just the offense. From Skyy Moore muffing multiple punts, to Travis Kelce losing the ball against the Bengals. Not to mention, last week Patrick Mahomes threw a three interception game against the Broncos. The Texans are one of the few teams that are worst in turnover differential giving the Chiefs an opportunity to get right.
The Chiefs defense has another opportunity to improve its defensive red zone numbers. The Chiefs have the worst red zone touchdown scoring percentage in the NFL. If an opposing offense gets within the red zone, they are getting touchdowns 68% of the time. This is about 15% more than the NFL average.
Over the next month, the Chiefs play some of the worst teams in the league. If they want to ramp up for the playoffs, they need to play on another level. In 2019 when Kansas City won the Super Bowl, the Chiefs defense took huge strides in December and January. It is crucial for the entire team to make improvements before it matters most.
If the Chiefs are able to repeat a Super Bowl run, playing their best football has to start now and crushing the Texans is a fantastic place to start.