One thing has become almost a given when looking at the Kansas City Chiefs' schedule in recent years: pencil in five or six wins against the AFC West, then take your chances in the other ten games. Since the start of the 2015 season, the Chiefs have gone an astounding 27-3 in division games, the best division record in any five-year stretch since the divisions realigned in 2002.
Yes, that includes the immortal New England Patriots, whose best five-year stretch amounted to a 25-5 record from 2003-2007, the second-best five-year stretch since realignment. So yes, that means that no team other than the Chiefs has won even 26 division games over five seasons, and the Chiefs have 27.
Kansas City also holds the record in that time for best four-year stretch (22-2) and six-year stretch (30-6) but it’s the five-year mark since 2015 of 27-3 that really stands out. That was the final year under Head Coach Andy Reid the Chiefs faced Peyton Manning. Kansas City played against Manning’s Denver Broncos six times under Reid and went 1-5 in those games, losing the first five before sending him off with a dominant 29-13 showing in Denver. In all other division games since hiring Reid, the Chiefs are 31-5. They are 11-1 in the Patrick Mahomes era, with a last-gasp, one-point setback to the Los Angeles Chargers in 2018 as the only defeat.
Here are the divisional winning records set by the Patriots that the Chiefs will be chasing as the Mahomes era truly takes off:
A division mark of 6-0 in 2020 would set the following records:
- 3-year stretch (17-1, tied with Denver)
- 4-year stretch (22-2, maintain record)
- 5-year stretch (28-2, break own record)
- 6-year stretch (33-3, shatter own record)
- 7-year stretch (36-6, beat the previous record by 2)
A 2020 division mark of 5-1 would still set the six and seven-year marks.
The 2020 AFC West is full of major transitions for every team other than the defending Super Bowl champions. The Broncos begin the year with 2nd-year QB Drew Lock and his whole five career starts and only 73% of offensive snaps returning (23rd in the NFL). The Chargers moved on from Philip Rivers and are either going to play veteran Tyrod Taylor or rookie Justin Herbert and have only 70% of their offensive snaps returning (27th in the NFL). Finally, the Raiders are moving cities to Las Vegas and have only 60% of their defensive snaps returning (28th in the NFL).
Meanwhile, the Chiefs return the third-most defensive snaps (85%), the 7th-most offensive snaps (85%), 10 starters on each side of the ball, all three coordinators, the second-longest tenured head coach in the NFL and the reigning Super Bowl MVP at quarterback.
New England better enjoy its division records while they can, because it appears that the Chiefs have plans to rewrite all of them.