What events could lead to the Chiefs missing out on the postseason in 2022? However unlikely it may be, anything can happen in the NFL.
The Chiefs have missed the playoffs just one time since Andy Reid became Head Coach following the 2012 season. More recently, since Patrick Mahomes II was drafted they’ve made the playoffs every single season and have never fallen short of an AFC Championship Game appearance with him as starting quarterback.
What if this year is different? Nothing lasts forever and it’s possible Kansas City’s elite run of regular-season success takes a detour next season. If the Chiefs do, in fact, miss the playoff next season, it will likely be a result of one of two things:
Unfortunate Injuries Could Spell Chiefs Chances At Playoffs
Nothing can derail NFL teams faster than injuries to key players. The Chiefs can handle minor injuries without much of a problem, we’ve seen this over and over. Since Patrick Mahomes became the starting quarterback in 2018, we have seen the Chiefs win without him for short spurts. They even won a playoff game when Mahomes missed an entire half with a concussion.
Injuries are a fact of life in the NF;, guys are going to get dinged up. What NFL teams can’t handle are multiple major injuries. For evidence of this, we need not look further than last year’s Baltimore Ravens. Imagine losing La’jarius Sneed, Rashad Fenton, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Ronald Jones, and Orlando Brown Jr for nearly the entire season. Oh and then have Mahomes miss the last six games of the year to top it all off. That is the kind of injury disaster that hit Baltimore last season.
Realistically the Chiefs have a strong enough roster to be able to overcome a few major injuries. But if they start losing four, five, or more guys for the season then it would be hard to maintain their winning ways against a stacked schedule. I think Andy Reid has shown he can win 12 games and make the playoffs even if the worst happened. As long as everyone else was healthy, the Chiefs would still make the playoffs even if Mahomes went down. They would have no chance at a ring, but they would likely still make the playoffs.
Chiefs Drama Returning From Last Year Could Derail Success
When a team has as much talent on their roster as the Chiefs, there are not a lot of ways that they can fail. Injuries are the most obvious and most likely, but the other factor that can ruin the 2022 season for the Chiefs is internal drama.
The Chiefs have always had an “us versus the world” mentality to them with Mahomes at QB. We all remember him counting on his fingers the number of teams who passed on him in the draft. Unfortunately, we saw a chink in that mentality last season.
Patrick Mahomes counting the amount of people drafted ahead of him is so cold. pic.twitter.com/0P3S4Jmsqd — dave (@runbackdave) December 23, 2019
None of us know exactly what happened during halftime of the AFC Championship game. Maybe Tyreek Hill will discuss it during his podcast, though telling the truth isn’t what he does there. Either way, it is clear that something happened because the team that played in the first half was not the same team that played in the second half.
The frustration on the field with each other was also noticeable last season. We saw Tyrann Mathieu with his arms in the air angry with Daniel Sorenson. We saw an outburst on the sideline with wide receivers who didn’t feel like they were being used the right way. These are things that the team can not allow in 2022.
I understand that Eric Bieniemy is frustrated that he hasn’t gotten a head coaching job. He and Andy need to leave that in the off-season and not treat this season as a tryout for his next job. Eric, Andy, and Matt Nagy should work together on the game plan during the week. But gameday needs to be under Andy’s control again. Bieniemy needs to put his ego and job hunting aside and let Andy do what’s best for the team.
The players on the field need to do the same thing. Mathieu admitted that he did not play as hard as he could last season because of his frustration over his contract. The only contract issue with the Chiefs this season is Brown, and that will be decided by July 15th. If he gets his money then he should be grateful and play his best to earn what he got. If he does not get his money then he should view this as a contract year to play his best so he can earn a big contract in 2023.
Contracts should not be an issue. The coaches should control themselves. And the last piece is the players need to not get angry with each other. They need strong leaders in every position that can help guys learn and grow. Humans aren’t perfect and guys are going to make mistakes throughout the season. Do not harp on those mistakes as Mathieu did. Instead, be a leader and talk about the mistake on the sideline and work towards correcting them. That is how you grow a team.
These are the only two ways that the Chiefs do not make the playoffs in 2022. The schedule is not as big of a deal as the media is making it. The Chiefs have had one of the league’s toughest schedules each of the last two seasons and they easily made the playoffs in both. Losing Hill is tough, but the receiver room as a whole is stronger. The defense has upgraded and will be better and more athletic. And we still have Andy and Patrick.
It is ok to understand that it is possible for the Chiefs to miss the playoffs. But just because it is possible doesn’t mean it is probable. So respect the possibility, but understand the Chiefs are making the playoffs in 2022. Enjoy the season and don’t live or die each week because 18 weeks is a long time to be on that roller coaster.
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