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Chiefs Control Their Own Destiny Following Big Win Over Jaguars

Kansas City is now the top dog in the conference after a wild Sunday of football.

Heading into Week 10, the main focus of the Kansas City Chiefs' Sunday outing against the Jacksonville Jaguars was on the task at hand. In order to keep their self-created momentum going, the Chiefs simply needed to take care of business in their own game and let the rest of the football world's chips fall where they may. That's exactly what they did, as Patrick Mahomes and company rolled to a 27-17 victory.

By the end of the night, the AFC did Andy Reid's group a series of massive favors.

Atop the conference, the Buffalo Bills seemed to gain a massive advantage over Kansas City when they came into Arrowhead Stadium and won on GEHA Field back in Week 6. Not only did that win earn them bragging rights for conference superiority, but it also gained them a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Chiefs for playoff seeding. Less than a month later, following a loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo fell from the top seed in the AFC to the No. 6 seed and the third team in its own division.

The second domino to fall was the one that capped off the night. Needing a win to keep a one-game gap between themselves and the Chiefs, the Los Angeles Chargers ended up losing to the San Francisco 49ers to drop to 5-4 on the year. With a pivotal Sunday Night Football contest against Kansas City coming up this week in LA, the visitors can build a three-game lead with a clear tiebreaker if they win. Although there are seven games remaining on the schedule after that, a Week 11 win would effectively secure the Chiefs an AFC West title for the seventh year in a row.

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Sure, it's absolutely worth noting that it's still too early in the season to crown champions or write postseason brackets down in pen. With that said, it's also worth noting that the 2022 version of the Chiefs — one that looked to have an uphill battle even at 4-2 following that Bills loss — now controls its own destiny in the conference.

According to Tankathon, Kansas City has the NFL's second-easiest remaining strength of schedule. Moving forward, matchups against the Houston Texans, Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos (twice) and Los Angeles Rams are more than favorable. Even games against the Seattle Seahawks, Cincinnati Bengals and the aforementioned Chargers are consistent with a slate that saw the Chiefs open the year at 7-2. Nothing moving forward is daunting and, in typical Chiefs fashion, they will have only themselves to blame if they don't execute and win games they should be favored in every week. 

Of course, securing the top seed in the conference playoffs doesn't guarantee a trip to the Super Bowl. That was made obvious by a meeting of the No. 4 seeds in last season's final matchup. A home-field advantage throughout the postseason would greatly benefit the Chiefs, however, and the "Arrowhead Invitational," as their fans like to call it, would be back for another year. With just one first-round bye to go around now, the added rest element is also an advantage. 

Once again, it's too early to declare Kansas City anything other than a great team in a great position through nine games. Things could begin to go sideways as early as Sunday night when they roll into SoFi Stadium. On one hand, being on higher ground and fighting off others attempting to climb up is difficult. On the other, getting to where you want to go is easier with a bit of help. The Chiefs got that help on Sunday, and now their fate is theirs to decide if they so choose.

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