Sunday was the day of the slumping giant. Four different NFL teams that lead their respective divisions lost, and there are real concerns for each of them. The Chiefs have lost three of four games, while their Super Bowl opponents in Philadelphia have lost two straight. The Lions and Jaguars have both lost recent games against teams they were expected, on paper, to beat.
On top of the losing streaks, each of these teams has bigger problems they've been dealing with for longer stretches, even if they were able to temporarily overcome those issues and win. The Eagles are a miraculous 59-yard field goal and a terrible drop away from losing four straight. The Lions needed a last-second comeback to beat the Bears three weeks ago. The Chiefs have lost games to both of those contenders because their wide receivers can't stop dropping passes.
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Let's discuss the four division leaders that lost Sunday and what's going wrong for them during their rougher stretches. With four weeks to go, it's not too late to fix things, but some of these teams can't blame their problems on injuries or bad luck. The team we'll start with has been dealing with its biggest weakness all season, and it's threatening to force the reigning MVP to do something he has never done: Play a postseason game on the road.
Kansas City Chiefs (8-5)
Week 14 result: Lost 20-17 to the Bills
While acknowledging the bar is higher for the Chiefs than for any other team, this is becoming a problem. They have lost three of their past four games, but their issues stretch beyond the past month. They've struggled to pull away from teams they should beat; outside of one blowout game against the Bears in September, every game has been within one score in the fourth quarter. With arguably the best defense of the Patrick Mahomes era, any of the other offenses we've seen from Kansas City over the past five years would be in pole position for the top spot in the AFC right now.
This is the 2023 Chiefs offense, though, and it's not the same. Mahomes is still brilliant. Travis Kelce is still excellent, even if he has taken a small step back from where he was a year ago. Isiah Pacheco has emerged as a bruising, valuable back, and the team sorely missed the second-year pro Sunday. The offensive line takes too many penalties, but it's not the problem here.