The Kansas City Chiefs were able to grab the first seed in the AFC heading into the playoffs, which – among other advantages – meant a coveted first-round bye that will automatically advance Kansas City to the Divisional Round of the postseason.
It's a significant advantage, but just because the Chiefs won't be playing this weekend doesn't mean that they don't have a strategy for how to attack their week away from the field.
"We don't know who we're going to play [yet], so what I'll do is watch a game or two from each team that we have a possibility of playing each day just to get a general sense of [each] team without it being too much of a deep dive," said quarterback Patrick Mahomes. "Luckily, we've already played two of the teams this year, so I have a great sense of them already."
The Chiefs' potential opponents next weekend are the No. 4 seed Jacksonville Jaguars, No. 5 seed Los Angeles Chargers, No. 6 seed Baltimore Ravens or No. 7 seed Miami Dolphins. Kansas City will play the lowest remaining seed following this weekend's action, and as Mahomes explained, the Chiefs have the benefit of having played Jacksonville and Los Angeles already this year.
In addition to planning ahead, however, this week is also about rest. After a long season, it's important that the Chiefs' players take advantage of this bye week as they head into the playoffs. Taking this time to physically and mentally recalibrate is potentially just as important to a long playoff run as the preparation itself.
"You make sure you stay working out, stay moving around and [don't] just sit on the couch all week, [but] when we get ready to go next week, I just try to be prepared and ready to roll," Mahomes said. "So, [it's] a little bit of both. You get off your feet and you rest, but you still move around enough that your body is in a good shape whenever you get to [our] first playoff game."
Mahomes' words set a great example for his teammates as they attack this week and beyond. The bye week is a great advantage for the Chiefs as they begin another postseason run, and if they can utilize it properly, the time off this week could go a long way in propelling Kansas City forward.