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NFL: AFC Challengers with Something to Prove in Week 14

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NFL: AFC Challengers with Something to Prove in Week 14

2019-12-07 10:54:541 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST


-by Bo Marchionte, Contributing Writer; Image: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. (Image Source: Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)

Here are three teams in the NFC who are not in the top tier but could move up with a strong December:

Kansas City Chiefs (8-4; 1st place in the AFC West)

The Chiefs played one outstanding game all season defensively. It was against the Denver Broncos on Thursday night, the same game Patrick Mahomes dinged his knee. Despite the occurrence, the Chiefs won 30-6 and sacked Joe Flacco nine times.

If defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo can sum up another way for this defense to duplicate that performance, they might have a chance.

At this stage in the game the offense is going to have to play twice as good to beat the best the NFL has to offer. The absence of Kareem Hunt should be noted. He was another potent weapon in this offense that allowed the running game to flourish. Setting up Mahomes to do all the marvelous things he does passing the football.

Tomorrow is a big test.

Week 14 Opponent: @ New England (4:25; CBS)

Buffalo Bills (9-3; 2nd place in the AFC East)

The win over Dallas was huge. Then again, the Cowboys have lost six out of their last nine. Then again, timing is half the battle. Buffalo lacks the national swagger that many of the other teams with winning records receive.

Headman Sean McDermott has matched his season-high win total as head coach (nine), from 2017, and has four games left to improve on that total. That year the Bills made the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

Currently Buffalo is one game back of New England in the AFC East and the schedule favors the Patriots, including a head-to-head in New England. The Pats face opponents with an overall record of 21-27 and the Bills face teams who are a combined 31-17.

Big shout out as well to their offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who has done a terrific job. Ask anyone around the water cooler tomorrow at work to name three offensive players, including Josh Allen or Frank Gore.

Like KC, the Bills have a chance to make a statement on Sunday.

Week 14 Opponent: vs. Baltimore (1:00; CBS)

To read more from Bo Marchionte at, click here.


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