Yes, the Chiefs have secured their birth in the playoffs by wrapping up the AFC West division after the happenings of last week. So why would this week matter? Well.......
- With a win, the Chiefs would most likely tangle with the New Yahk Jets instead of the Baltimore Ravens. Although, I don't fear the Ravens as much as others I've talked to (don't buy Joe Flacco), I would still rather face the Jets, who are in some sort of late season swoon. That's the exact kinda team you'd like to face in the playoffs.
- Momentum is the most important factor you can have on your side going into the playoffs. The NFL is all about peaking at the right time of the season. Any kind of loss, even given the circumstances, can be detrimental towards your playoff success.
- You cannot lose the rhythm of the offense. Icy Matt & Co. may have had their best output of the season last week against the Titans. Combine that with another strong performance this week and the offense may be going into the playoffs the hottest it's been all season. You'll oftentimes see teams that rest their starters at the end of the regular season struggle on offense in the playoffs, especially early on in the game. That's something the Chiefs cannot afford. We'll call this the Colts Always Choke theory.
- There is the possibility that if the Chiefs get the #3 seed that they could host the AFC Championship game. All it would take is for New England to get upset in the Divisional Round (very possible), and obviously for the Chiefs to win their first two playoff games. This was the Arizona Cardinals path to the Super Bowl when they went as a 9-7 team in 2008. This would be the ultimate game to attend in my opinion. The Super Bowl couldn't match the atmosphere of a home crowd with a trip to the big game on the line. I would give away my first (unborn) child to attend this potential game.
- The Chiefs have a chance to finish undefeated at home for the 2010 season. It's almost as if there is an invincibility surrounding the team when you hear that stat, and nothing makes me prouder. It means the crowd is really doing their part for the team. Plus, it is something to fear. The Jets or the Ravens aren't gonna be afraid to come into Arrowhead and steal a win if the Raiders did just that.
So if anybody is thinking that we should maybe rest our starters for this final week of the season, I would reconsider for the previously mentioned rationales. I would play everybody as long as it took to wrap the game up. Sure, there is a chance that somebody gets hurt, which could hurt our playoff chances, but the Chiefs have been taking chances all season. Why stop now?
To remind you of the playoff possibilities, I'll repost what I wrote earlier this week....
If the Chiefs win: They will get the #3 seed in the AFC and would most likely host the New York Jets. Unless the Steelers lose and the Ravens win, at which point we would host the Steelers. That wouldn't be good, although we'd be facing a team fresh off a loss to the Browns, so when in Rome.
If the Chiefs lose: Would be the #4 seed unless the Colts lose to the Titans. But, if the Colts win, we would most likely host the Baltimore Ravens. Unless the Steelers lose and the Ravens win, and then we'd be back on the Jets. UNLESS the Jets lost too, at which point we'd draw the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Take it with you,