Kansas City Chiefs' Defensive Injuries Could Impact AFC Playoff Race

By Will Gellman
Tamba Hali
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into their Week 12 matchup against the San Diego Chargers, most Kansas City Chiefs fans thought that the team would return to their defensive dominance after a tough matchup against the Denver Broncos last week.  Unfortunately for Kansas City, Week 12 played out in the complete opposite manner. They lost the game in a 41-38 shootout.

To make matters worse, the Chiefs lost their top two pass rushers to injury in this game. Tamba Hali left the game with an ankle injury and Justin Houston left the game with an elbow injury. The team did not look the same defensively after the two left, and it is clear that they will struggle to compete if the two are forced to miss extended action.

The Chiefs, although it looks like they are firmly in the playoffs at 9-2, could still be in danger of losing a high playoff seed down the road. Simply put, instead of a potential first-round playoff bye or home-field advantage throughout, the Chiefs could find themselves playing a very tough opponent on the road if their seed stays as it is, especially with the New England Patriots beating the Broncos last night.

The Chiefs will take on Denver in a rematch in Week 13, putting even more pressure on them to win without arguably their best two defensive players. If they should lose, Kansas City could potentially be dealt a big blow with New England, Denver, the Indianapolis Colts, the Cincinnati Bengals and even the Tennessee Titans knocking on the door in the AFC.

Will Gellman is a New England Patriots’ writer for RantSports.com.  Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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