KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While a win is a win, the way the Kansas City Chiefs have won so far in their 2022 season is slightly alarming for a team with Super Bowl potential.
Super Bowl-winning teams in the past five seasons (2021 Los Angeles Rams, 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2019 Chiefs, 2018 New England Patriots, 2017 Philadelphia Eagles) have had at least six regular-season wins defeating their opponent by double digits.
The Chiefs are currently at four wins by double digits; the AFC-leading Buffalo Bills are at five, while the NFC-leading Eagles are at six.
Kansas City has struggled to put teams away late in games this year in wins and losses.
The first loss of the season was to an— at-the-time—0-1-1 Indianapolis Colts team; they had to come back from a 17-point deficit to beat the 1-3 Las Vegas Raiders; they took an early 20-0 lead over the 3-6 Jacksonville Jaguars and ended up with a double-digit win but only scored one touchdown in the second half.
Their losses to the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals also came down to late-game drives where Kansas City could not pull out a win.
The concern was low with a 10-3 record until the Chiefs almost blew a 27-0 lead to the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
In the 34-28 win, Kansas City gave up 21 unanswered before scoring a touchdown late in the third quarter.
If Russell Wilson isn’t knocked out of the game with a concussion, the game could have potentially gone to overtime or ended with a Broncos win in regulation.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said he knows the margin between winning and losing is slim in the NFL, and his team must do better.
“You better stay on top of it, you better put ’em away, and so we try to do that all the way around.”
Reid said Patrick Mahomes’ interceptions were a big factor. The Broncos scored off two of them to end the first half.
“It’s the details that let a team score two, three touchdowns in a short amount of time,” linebacker Willie Gay said.
With the Houston Texans, Seattle Seahawks, Broncos and Raiders left on the schedule, the Chiefs certainly have a chance to pass six wins by double digits.
While Mahomes’ interceptions gave Denver multiple opportunities to stay in the game, the rest of the team picked him up and helped hold on to win.
Close wins make the team stronger even if it is against weaker teams, but come playoff time, the slim NFL margins become extremely slim, and not putting teams away could end in another playoff loss for Kansas City.