The 2022 National Football League (NFL) is approaching the business end of its regular season, with all 32 franchises completing the 12th of 17 scheduled fixtures by the time the weekend concludes. Like in most sports, form is everything, and the Kansas City Chiefs look to be peaking at the correct time and, as a result, are the outright favorites in the online Super Bowl betting markets.
Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV in 2019, were the losing finalists at Super Bowl LV in 2020, and missed out on a third straight Super Bowl appearance last season after falling 24-27 in overtime to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship game. Losing in such a manner was a bitter pill for the Chiefs to swallow, and head coach Reid had a significant task on his hands to dust his players down and get them ready for yet another charge at the playoffs.
A Solid Start to the Season
The Chiefs started the season well and headed into the eagerly anticipated clash with the then-Super Bowl favorites Buffalo Bills with a 4-1 record. The Bills came out on top 24-20, thanks to a late 13-play 72-yard drive that ended with Dawson Knox going over for the touchdown and Tyler Bass scoring the extra point. That defeat to the Bills sparked something in the Chiefs, and they embarked on a five-game winning spree, during which time they brushed aside the San Francisco 49ers, the Los Angeles Chargers, and most recently, the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Los Angeles Rams.
Reid’s Chiefs have a relatively easy, on paper, run-in for the season. The Chiefs take on the Cincinnati Bengals, play the Denver Broncos home and away, host the Seattle Seahawks, and have on-the-road games against the abysmal Houston Texans and the inconsistent Las Vegas Raiders. One would imagine only the Bengals would be a possible defeat for the Chiefs, who could realistically finish 15-2 if matters go their way.
Patrick Mahomes is Ridiculously Good
Of course, having a potential GOAT quarterback pulling strings from the pocket helps any team. Patrick Mahomes, after a slow start to the season, by his lofty standards at least, continues to produce moments of magic and looks unstoppable at times. Mahomes has completed 66.1% of his 442 passing attempts, throwing 3,585 yards and 29 touchdowns. The former Texas Tech star is so consistent it is as if he is not human! Since his first full season in 2018, Mahomes’ season-long pass completion rate has never dipped below 65.9%, he has never thrown less than 4,000 yards, and in 2021 aside, his rating has consistently been above 105. The man is a machine.
Unsurprisingly, the Chiefs top the offense rankings for passing across the entire league, with 3,585 yards. Buffalo Bills (3,414) are second, with the NF:’s surprise package, the Miami Dolphins (3,364) third. The Chiefs’ rushing game is only the 20th best in terms of yards gained, but who cares when you have Mahomes pinging passes around seemingly at will?
With the Chiefs on a five-game winning streak and Mahomes being Mahomes, the Chiefs look nailed on for a playoff spot once the curtain comes down on the regular season on January 8. If they beat the Bengals on December 4, finding another regular season fixture that is a potential banana skin where the Chiefs could slip up is challenging. Everything points to the Chiefs topping the AFC West and marching into their fifth Super Bowl appearance, their third in four years.