NFL Week 5 reaction: Are the Chiefs still the favorites in the AFC?

Andy Reid Calling a play

It took five weeks to learn that the Kansas City Chiefs aren’t perfect. They suffered their first loss of the year on Sunday, falling 40-32 at home to the NFC West Las Vegas Raiders.

The defending Super Bowl champions had won 13 straight games, including playoffs, dating back to last season. A whopping 336 days have passed since the Tennessee Titans hung on against the Chiefs last November 10, winning by a score of 35-32. This year, the Chiefs entered with almost unsurpassable expectations, especially after signing Patrick Mahomes to a record-breaking $503 million contract extension in the offseason.

The pressure from the national media didn’t seem to faze the Chiefs in Week 1, as they won by two touchdowns against a Houston Texans team that triumphed in the AFC South last year. They survived a Week 2 battle against the Los Angeles Chargers in overtime before making a statement with their 14-point win over the favored Baltimore Ravens in Week 3. With that win and a strong follow-up victory over the New England Patriots, it looked as though no team in the AFC would be able to stop Kansas City this year.

A defensive day to forget

That all changed Sunday, when head coach Andy Reid’s defense looked lost at times in both halves, surrendering 40 points to the Raiders. Las Vegas has been putting up points every week this year, but nobody expected a Chiefs’ defense that’s held opponents to 20 points or less every week to suddenly give up double that to a team that few consider a contender in the AFC.

The offense was quiet in the second half, too, not scoring for the first 26 minutes of the half. Mahomes worked some of his magic, leading the Chiefs downfield for a touchdown and two-point conversion to bring the game within eight. But, as was the story of the game for Kansas City, the defense was unable to make one more stop to give Mahomes a chance to tie the game.

So now what? The Chiefs, no longer undefeated, have eight days until their next game against the 4-0 Bills on Monday Night Football. Buffalo already beat Las Vegas this year and many have had their eyes on this upcoming KC-BUF showdown for weeks to see if the Bills would proclaim themselves as Super Bowl contenders. Now, though, there’s even more reason to watch; if Kansas City loses two in a row, it will have some serious questions to answer before solidifying itself as the favorite in the AFC.

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