Chiefs have golden opportunity vs. Panthers

The Kansas City Chiefs have a chance to put a ton of pressure on the rest of the AFC West with a win on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

This Sunday, Kansas City does not have to win. If the Chiefs lose, they will be 6-3 and still in control when it comes to both winning the AFC West and earning a first-round bye. It’s not the end of the world if Andy Reid and Co. don’t extend their winning streak to five games down in Charlotte.

All that said, this is a major chance to get rolling full-steam down the stretch. We sit here on Nov. 11, and the Chiefs are 6-2. With a win over Carolina, they would be 7-2 and take over the West lead, with the Oakland Raiders idle on their bye. Kansas City would slide into the AFC’s second seed, and perhaps gain some ground on contenders.

This Sunday, the Denver Broncos are injured and taking on the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome. Vegas sees the Saints as a three-point favorite, with most of the money being laid on the home team. Should the Chiefs win and the Broncos lose, Kansas City would be up by 1.5 games and two in the loss column. Another win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arrowhead Stadium next week and the lead would be two full games with Denver on its bye.

Of course, all of this is speculation. We have no idea what is going to happen down the road. Kansas City could win this weekend and then fall apart, although that seems highly unlikely.

The Chiefs are playing for keeps this season, in a way they haven’t since perhaps 1997. This team has a real shot at the Super Bowl, and every win counts towards that goal.

This article originally appeared on