The Kansas City Chiefs are riding a four-game winning streak, so common sense would argue that continuing to play as often as possible will help keep that positive momentum rolling. That logic is fundamentally sound, but the Chiefs' Week 12 bye came right at the perfect time.
After starting the 2021 campaign 3-4, the Chiefs had dug themselves into a bit of a hole. Through seven weeks, they were looking up at the rest of the AFC West and were on the outside looking in when it came to the AFC playoff picture. Things looked bleak for a team that had made it to consecutive Super Bowls. The Chiefs simply weren't the Chiefs anymore.
Now, after a November that saw them post a perfect record, they control their own destiny within the division and get to sit back and watch the rest of the league's teams beat each other up for a week. Mark Van Sickle of Arrowhead Report joined me on Monday's Roughing the Kicker podcast to discuss why the Chiefs' bye week had such impeccable timing.
Coming out of the bye, Kansas City has three consecutive games against divisional opponents. Those contests are must-win games for the Chiefs, and being well-rested for them will be a major plus. They'll also have an extra week to prepare for their first foe in that stretch: the Denver Broncos. When combining that with Andy Reid's stellar track record the week after a bye, there's a very solid chance his team will be looking at an 8-4 record after Week 13.
Health is also a huge component of team success in the NFL. Not only do the Chiefs have a pair of right tackles (Lucas Niang and Mike Remmers) missing time due to injuries, but they have several other members of the team playing through them. Defensive backs Tyrann Mathieu, L'Jarius Sneed and Rashad Fenton are all dealing with various ailments, and defensive lineman Chris Jones is battling a wrist issue. A week off for those aforementioned players not only helps them mentally, but also physically.
Then, of course, we have the timing of every other team's bye week to take into account. The Chiefs have the third-latest bye week this season, and all of their AFC West rivals have already had theirs. Among likely conference playoff contenders, only the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots will have theirs later than the Chiefs. That matters, too.
In a league of attrition, timing is everything. Resting at the right time, being prepared at the right time, getting healthy at the right time and peaking at the right time are all essential ingredients in the formula to making deep playoff runs. The Chiefs have set themselves up to do a decent job at all four, which could bode well for the rest of their season. The momentum argument is valid but for the Reid-led Chiefs, this week off couldn't have come at a much better time.
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