Chiefs win over Jaguars proves they are AFC favorites

Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs demolished the Jacksonville Jaguars at Arrowhead Stadium, showcasing why they are the team to beat in the AFC.

Andy Reid would probably tell you his team played a poor game in many respects. The Chiefs took a whopping five personal fouls, saw Chris Jones and Dee Ford get ejected, and totaled 11 flags for 105 yards, and allowed 502 total yards. Meanwhile, star quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw two interceptions, the first of his incredible season.

Reid would be telling you facts, but he’d be omitting the most obvious one. Kansas City is the best team in the AFC, and with all due respect to the New England Patriots, it’s not particularly close.

Coming into Sunday, the notion from many corners is that Jacksonville’s top-ranked defense — in both yards and points per game — would stroll into Arrowhead and give Showtime something to think about. Instead, Mahomes beat the Jaguars long and short, throwing for 313 yards and running for a touchdown to lead the Chiefs to a 30-7 advantage early in the fourth quarter.

Before garbage time, Kansas City dismantled Jacksonville in all ways possible, with Blake Bortles ending his day with 418 passing yards… but a lost fumble and four interceptions. It was a statement from the team accustomed to wilting in big moments, something this game certainly was.

At 5-0, the Chiefs won’t escape their rotten history just yet. They were 5-0 last year before eventually cratering to 6-6, then finishing 10-6 before blowing a 21-3, third-quarter lead in the AFC Wild Card against the Tennessee Titans.

There will always be demons in the heartland until Mahomes and Co. deliver the goods in January (and February), but this feels different, because it is.

Kansas City is showcasing a prolific offense that has now won in Pittsburgh, in Denver and at home against the NFL’s best. Mahomes is on an MVP pace, starting the season with five 300-yard efforts to go with 14 touchdowns. It’s been a tour de force from the Chiefs, one that has them sitting atop the AFC standings with a litany of impressive wins in their wake.

New England, the perennial bully in the conference, will have its say and soon. The Patriots welcome the Chiefs to Gillette Stadium on Sunday night, likely coming into the contest as favorites. Kansas City might end up with its first loss of the year, tightening the race. If not, the Chiefs will have overwhelming command of both tiebreakers and destiny.

Jacksonville seemed the perfect foil for Kansas City’s aerial circus. Instead, the Jaguars became the latest victim, run over by the elephants on their way out of the tent.

Andy Reid will talk about many improvements that must be made in the wake of an imperfect if not impressive win. What he won’t talk about is what he’ll be thinking on the way home; the Chiefs are really, really good.

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