Are the Kansas City Chiefs facing unfair expectations?
Chiefs fans and media are asking this question in the wake of a Week 6 slate that saw the league's last two unbeaten teams -- the widely celebrated 49ers and Eagles -- take their first losses.
The development left all of San Francisco, Philadelphia, the Lions, Dolphins and Chiefs with records of 5-1.
And yet there is a perception that the Chiefs are bringing up the rear in that group and have not been especially impressive this season, at least relative to the lofty standards they've set in recent years.
For his part, Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes isn't necessarily fazed by this line of criticism.
"Our standard is high for ourselves," Mahomes told host Carrington Harrison on "The Drive" on 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City on Monday. "Even when we win games, we want to take out what we can do better.
"Obviously we know how hard it is to win in this league, and people say it, and people think it's just cliche, but it is. Anybody can beat anybody in any week, and so for us, we found a way to get a win. What can we take out of it that we can get better at? What are the negatives that we can make better? Then move on to the next week against a good football team, like we're going to have to do this week."
While it hasn't always been easy or pretty, finding a way to win has been a recurring theme for the Chiefs so far this season.
"We've got guys who have done it," Mahomes said. "We have guys who have been in those moments. They know how to step up and make those plays happen. When the offense isn't playing good, the defense plays well, and vice versa. Special teams ... I mean, we pick each other up. It's not just about one side of the ball, it's not just about one player. It's about the whole team. And I think we do a great job of finding a way to win games, whenever someone didn't have a good game, someone else picks them up."
The Chiefs' Week 6 win over the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football wasn't exactly a thing of beauty. The Chiefs mustered just 19 points -- including just two second-half field goals -- against the Broncos' much-maligned defense.
And yet, the game wasn't especially close, thanks to the efforts of Kansas City's stingy defense.
The Chiefs will likely need to be better when the rival Chargers come to town in Week 7. The teams have had several close battles in recent years.
"Divisional opponent, so we know each other really well -- have a good sense of what the other team wants to do, how they want to dictate offense, defense and special teams. So, those are always hard, and they have a great quarterback and great players on their team.
"I know going up against them, no matter what the score is, it's going to be a fight to the end, and luckily we've been able to win a lot of these over the last few years, but we know what a challenge that it is and know it's an important game, and that we have to go into it with the mindset that we have to fight to the very end to get the win."