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Vahe Gregorian: Why the best version of these Chiefs can still repeat as Super Bowl champs

Vahe Gregorian, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Football

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Twelve games into the NFL season, the most realistic view of the 2023 Chiefs is that they are one confusing team about which there can be no valid consensus or conclusions made ... or real way to know what’s ahead.

Just when you think you’ve got a bead on them, wham, they twist another way.

At 8-4 with five games to go, they’re one win from being tied for the AFC No. 1 seed … and one loss from a four-way tie for the fifth-best record in the conference.

Against teams that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today, they’re the essence of mediocrity at 3-3.

In theory, the good news remains that each of their losses are at least as attributable to lapses of their own as to what was done unto them.

But that would be a source of more consolation and optimism if that paradoxical theme didn’t keep repeating itself, including where it’s punctuated by coach Andy Reid on a loop saying some version of, “We can fix all that stuff.”

 

So it’s become easy to see them as more exasperating than exhilarating — especially since their offense has lacked the customary rhythm and capacity to astonish that otherwise has underscored the Patrick Mahomes Era.

Really, it’s a shadow of its recent self on the skewed and spoiled scale we’ve come to know these last few years as the Chiefs have played in three of four Super Bowls and won two of them.

Just the same, there’s more to this than meets the eye test as the Chiefs prepare to play a presumably desperate (6-6) Buffalo team in what looms as one of Kansas City’s most pivotal and revealing games of the season.

Think of it as Mahomes put it Wednesday: “I mean, we’re still sitting there on top of the AFC West, and I think a lot of the stuff is out in front of us. We just have to go out there and capitalize on it,” he said.

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