My teenage nephew, Sam, lives in Southern California and is a Kansas City Chiefs fan. He was almost apologetic to me when he announced his favorite team, thinking I would prefer he was a Raiders fan I suspect.
Truth is, Sam has had plenty of home teams to line up with and become a fan of. His grandfather, my brother, lives in the Bay Area so the 49ers or Raiders were first likely choices. He lived in San Diego as a young boy, and moved to Seattle when he was still in single digits age wise.
Chargers or Seahawks could have been hometown choices for Sam.
Now, back in Southern California, he has another shot at the Chargers or perhaps hook his loyalty to the Rams. But no, he said sheepishly, Kansas City is his team.
That’s right, his liking of the Chiefs is not a lifelong passion, this admiration is hooked to who many would consider the most exciting QB in the game today. To show I had no hard feelings about his choice of team to follow, I sent him a Mahomes jersey before this season started.
Now, I love Sam, but I got some bad news for the kid.
Mahomes isn’t the answer this week.
The Chiefs confidence level has risen dramatically in the past six days with a home win over the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium behind backup quarterback Matt Moore, and the expected return from injury of Mahomes this week. But, that win last Sunday against the Vikings, 26-23, ended a three game home losing streak for the Chiefs, and two of those losses were games that had Mahomes behind center.
The Chiefs were the talk of football last season while Mahomes set passing records seemingly every week. He also opened this campaign with an impressive opening day performance in Jacksonville, and wins over the Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens the next two weeks. But, cracks in their success were showing on the defensive side of the ball, and the only game they have allowed their opponents less than 19 points this year was a blowout win in Denver, 30-6, three weeks ago against the Broncos.
It is not coincidental that the Chiefs best defensive performance of the season, that Denver win, was in the same game that Mahomes injured his kneecap. He had limped off the field with dings in the Chiefs prior two games, but returned to in home losses against the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans.
Off back-to-back losses and with Mahomes sidelined in Denver, the Chiefs had all the motivation they needed to dominate their AFC West rivals.
Now, off a win, and with Mahomes coming back, the Chiefs are confident of a victory. They meet the Tennessee Titans on the road and the point spread jumped to them favored by six points with the knowledge that Andy Reid is starting his prize quarterback.
Confidence plus a bloated point spread spells big trouble for the Chiefs this week. Particularly against a Titans team coming off a road loss against the Carolina Panthers and focused on staying in the playoff hunt out of the AFC North Division.
Qoxhi Picks: Tennessee Titans (+6) over Kansas City Chiefs