Chiefs head into postseason with confidence of full group

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Chiefs head into postseason with confidence of complete team


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas Metropolis Chiefs romped their option to the AFC championship sport final yr by leaning closely on their high-powered offense, with Patrick Mahomes slinging the ball everywhere in the subject and a fleet of vast receivers hauling in every part in sight.

Then their protection allow them to down.

Now, because the Chiefs get pleasure from per week off earlier than making ready for the divisional spherical of the playoffs, they’re brimming with confidence borne of essentially the most full group they’ve had in years. The offense remains to be lots potent, however that once-dismal protection has undergone an entire makeover below coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, shutting down everybody throughout a six-game successful streak that allowed Kansas Metropolis to leapfrog New England for the No. 2 seed within the playoffs.

“The number of methods of successful is the largest factor,” Mahomes mentioned. “We have gained video games clearly placing up factors and doing these issues this yr, however we have additionally gained video games when the protection has stepped up and managed video games for us. For us, it is about whenever you get to the playoffs not each sport is identical, and we have discovered methods to win in several methods.”

The Chiefs (12-4) scored not less than 30 factors seven occasions, twice hit 40 and have been held beneath 20 simply as soon as. Mahomes eclipsed 4,000 yards passing regardless of lacking most of three video games with a knee harm, and he tossed 26 landing passes towards simply 5 interceptions. Travis Kelce grew to become the primary NFL tight finish with back-to-back 1,200-yard receiving seasons whereas Tyreek Hill had seven landing catches and rookie operating mate Mecole Hardman had six.

The Chiefs gained shootouts towards the Ravens, the highest seed within the AFC, and the Lions in consecutive weeks. They usually scored so rapidly and effectively in blowouts of the Broncos and Raiders that the outcomes have been by no means in query.

On the flip facet, the Chiefs put collectively a string of 10 straight quarters with out permitting a landing through the remaining three weeks of the common season. They allowed 52 factors whole within the 5 video games following their bye, a run of dominance that got here towards quarterbacks that included Tom Brady and Philip Rivers.

“This group performs with super swag. It is confidence,” mentioned veteran defensive finish Terrell Suggs, who was claimed off waivers from the Arizona Cardinals for the ultimate two weeks of the common season and the playoffs, and now has an opportunity so as to add one other Tremendous Bowl ring to the one he gained with the Baltimore Ravens.

“That is the No. 1 edge {that a} soccer participant has: confidence,” added Suggs, who has performed in 18 playoff video games. “When you’ve got a group that is taking part in with swagger, and the pinnacle ball coach is encouraging that and your place coach is encouraging that, that may make it easier to in January in playoff soccer.”

Additionally useful is having that week off.

The Chiefs misplaced security Juan Thornhill to a torn ACL towards the Chargers final weekend, so the bye offers Spagnuolo an opportunity to regulate his personnel to cowl an enormous loss within the secondary. The Chiefs even have loads of bumps and bruises up and down the roster, and offensive lineman Andrew Wylie may use the week off to return from an ankle harm.

“It is extraordinarily vital,” security Tyrann Mathieu mentioned. “I feel you possibly can actually take that week to get wholesome, after which you possibly can scout everyone that is taking part in. That is not one thing that you just’d in all probability be capable to do for those who had a sport that week. It will likely be vital for us to form of put the work in, clearly get a little bit dose of the data on who we may probably play, then hope that it shakes out for us. Whoever exhibits up right here, we have now to be able to roll.”

The Chiefs gathered for conferences Monday earlier than coach Andy Reid gave them the subsequent two days off. They deliberate to have mild padded practices Thursday and Friday, primarily starters towards starters, earlier than ratcheting again a bit this weekend.

That is after they study whether or not the Patriots, Texans or Payments will go to Arrowhead Stadium for the divisional spherical.

“Simply staying targeted is the largest factor,” mentioned Mahomes, who deliberate to observe this weekend’s video games with teammates at his house. “Clearly, Coach Reid does a great job of making ready us by giving us the correct quantity of day off, however on the identical time protecting us within the constructing and protecting us making ready for whoever we get to play.”

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Extra AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL



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