January 4, 2020

By Fred Liggett

A lot has been said about the streaks the Kansas City Chiefs are on like four consecutive AFC West Division championships and the impressive fifth straight season with 10 wins or more. One streak not getting as much attention is the Chiefs heading into the post-season for the second year in a row with a “bye.”

Last year the Chiefs secured the AFC’s top seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. This year the Chiefs claimed the number two seed in the AFC playoffs allowing the team to rest its players and coaches more time to develop game plans. Chiefs fans are all excited for the team’s first home playoff game which is set for Sunday, Jan. 12 with a kickoff time of 2:05 p.m. Depending how the AFC top seed Baltimore does that same weekend there could be another Chiefs playoff game at Arrowhead this year. Should Baltimore lose then the Chiefs get to host the AFC Championship game for a second straight year.

While a game date and game time is set the Chiefs playoff opponent is still to be determined. Everyone will find out that important piece of info during “Wild Card Weekend.” The New England Patriots have the best chance to visit Kansas City as the number three seed. All the Patriots have to do is beat Tennessee at home. If the Pats come up short then the winner of the Buffalo at Houston game will advance to play the Chiefs. Helping the Chiefs out is that the team already has played Houston and New England. The Chiefs lost at home to the Texans and beat the Patriots on the road.

Much has been said about Chiefs head coach Andy Reid’s record coming off from a bye week. Both his Philadelphia Eagles and Chiefs teams have been very successful in games played after a bye. The regular season saw another instance of this as the Chiefs routed Oakland at home 40-9. Having played two of the three possible teams that will play the Chiefs next weekend aid the Chiefs coaches develop a winning game plan.

Another benefit of having a week off to prepare for post-season play is the chance for a team to get healthy. The Chiefs have seen many of their in-season injured players recover and return to the field. One that will not be ready to go is rookie CB Juan Thornhill who suffered a season-ending knee injury last week. Thornhill despite being a rookie has played in all 16 regular season games this season. Without Thornhill the Chiefs will now use some of this off time to devise a new rotation for their secondary. Armani Watts and Kendall Fuller are players expected to see increased playing time in place of Thornhill.

On Monday of this week Chiefs coach Andy Reid gave his players the rest of the week off. They will report back to work on Monday, Jan. 6 and face a normal game week schedule. Chiefs fans can relax too and enjoy watching the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs. Much like the players Chiefs fans will enjoy the fact their team is not playing but soon will be preparing for an opponent and playing for the right to reach Miami the site of this year’s Super Bowl. That’s What I REID Into It for this week.

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