In some ways, the Chiefs' loss to Cincinnati was hugely insightful. Kansas City's march to another AFC West title isn't really in question – after a huge offseason of moves, the division has been perhaps the most underwhelming in football – but there are still lingering questions about how the team stacks up against the AFC's elite. And while it looks like the road to the Super Bowl still may go through Arrowhead Stadium, the next month will be crucial for Patrick Mahomes and company to figure out how to be firing on all cylinders when the playoffs come around. While speaking to 610's Cody and Gold on Tuesday, The Athletic's Chiefs reporter Nate Taylor explained why last Sunday's loss showed the team just how tight the margins will be come January.
"Here lies the issue," he said. "To help the team win – and Travis Kelce's had an amazing season – Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes have to be excellent. Patrick Mahomes was excellent. Travis Kelce was great, up until the fumble. And that's the margin that they have, really, when you think about the top echelon teams in the conference, whether it's the Bills or the Bengals. Special teams? Almost had to be perfect. Guess what? Have to be perfect in January. So if you put Harrison Butker out there, he's got to make a 55-yard kick, regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the situation. Points are what matter most. End possessions with points. The reason they lost is because one posession ended on a fumble, and another one ended in the fourth quarter because you couldn't get points."
You can listen to Taylor's entire interview in the embedded player below: