Chiefs at Panthers: 3 things we learned

The Kansas City Chiefs stun the Carolina Panthers, 20-17 on Sunday afternoon. Here are the three biggest takeaways from the Chiefs’ win over the Panthers.

The Kansas City Chiefs outscored the Carolina Panthers 17-0 in the fourth quarter to shock the Panthers in Charlotte on Sunday in Week 10. Kansas City defeated Carolina, 20-17. The Chiefs improve to 7-2, while Panthers stumble to 3-6.

In what was an exciting game at Bank of America Stadium, here are the three biggest takeaways from the Chiefs’ come from behind victory over the Panthers in Week 10.

1. The Chiefs will have to win in January with their secondary

Kansas City isn’t without its warts as a football team. The Chiefs have the most bland offense in football, but we’ve known that to be true for the entire Andy Reid era in Kansas City. They have a very high floor as a football, but will a definite ceiling be what does them in?

The Chiefs don’t do anything bad, but are they really elite at anything? That is a necessity to win in the AFC Playoffs. What Week 10’s win over the Panthers taught us more about the Chiefs than anything is that its secondary might be good enough to get Kansas to the AFC Championship.

From there, it’s all really about health, momentum, and on-field matchups. The Chiefs showed us on Sunday that this team can win multiple playoff games in the AFC. Regardless of it Kansas City wins the AFC West or has to navigate its playoff path through the Wild Card round, the defensive backfield is the unit that can potentially take Kansas City to the Super Bowl. It’s good to have Eric Berry and Marcus Peters in the secondary.

2. Momentum isn’t in Carolina’s favor this season

Carolina got all the breaks last season. It helped the Panthers go 15-1 and win the NFC in 2015. 2016 has not been so kind to the Panthers, as Carolina has to work against the riptide of the momentum conspiring against them.

This was a game that Carolina needed to have to confirm the importance of its two-game win streak following its Week 7 bye. The Panthers beat the tired Arizona Cardinals at home and a remedial Los Angeles Rams offense on the road. Had the Panthers found their 2015 mojo or was it a false positive by beating three mediocre NFC West teams.

For the second straight week, Kansas City didn’t play all that great, but was able to beat two sub-.500 teams anyway. Carolina blew a 17-3 lead entering the fourth quarter to lose by three, 20-17. This is their 2016 bed. The Panthers must lie in the pigsty they’ve created for themselves with sloppy play late in games.

3. Chiefs might be Super Bowl caliber

To be Super Bowl caliber, a team must first be conference championship caliber. This win on the road over the Panthers by the Chiefs confirms this for Kansas City.

It wasn’t that they were able to win in a tough road environment in Charlotte that validates the Chiefs’ Super Bowl candidacy. It was that they were able to win another close game that they should have lost.

This Chiefs club has interesting similarities to Pete Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks of the NFC. The most striking is Kansas City’s ability to play 60 minutes every week. If a team is never out of it, they are always in it. Since Kansas City can win games it frankly shouldn’t, we can safely say that they a Super Bowl LI contenders entering Week 11.

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