The Kansas City Chiefs lost a close one last Sunday, but the rhetoric at One Arrowhead Drive this past week was all about moving forward as the Chiefs aim to maintain their dominance over the AFC West in a matchup with the Denver Broncos.
Bouncing back after a tough loss is highly important after all, especially against a divisional opponent the following week.
"We had a tough loss this past weekend, but we have to pick up the pieces and move on," said Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy. "It's Denver Broncos week."
Looking past the Broncos record – which sits at 3-9 – they are still a skilled and capable team. They have one of the best defenses in the league, which has kept 10 of their games within one score this season. It's also important to remember that in this league, every team is capable of beating their opponent no matter what the record shows.
Luckily, the Chiefs know a thing or two about beating divisional opponents. Since 2018, Kansas City leads the NFL in that category, going 23-4 against their division.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has a total of 14 wins and zero losses in road divisional games, and he'll look to continue his undefeated streak as the Chiefs travel to Empower Field at Mile High in Denver this Sunday.
There's plenty on the line for the Chiefs in this game, too, beyond just keeping pace with the Buffalo Bills for the top record in the conference. In fact, if the Chiefs beat the Broncos this week and the Chargers fall to the Dolphins, the Chiefs will lock up their seventh-straight AFC West title. It would mark the second-longest division title streak in NFL history, trailing only the New England Patriots' stretch of 11 straight from 2009-19.
The Chiefs have larger goals than just another division title, but locking up the AFC West is always the first step toward seizing the ultimate prize. Still, the Chiefs need to take care of business on Sunday in order to make that goal a reality, and at the very least, Kansas City will remain in lockstep with the Bills atop the AFC in the event of a victory on Sunday.
It won't be easy though, despite the Broncos' record this season. Divisional games are always a battle, and although last week didn't end in the Chiefs' favor, the mandate now is all about getting back on track.
"You move on to the next game, and that's what these guys have done," said Head Coach Andy Reid. "They're tunneled in."