The Kansas City Chiefs enter the Arizona Cardinals game on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium with a share of first-place in the AFC West. The Chiefs are tied with the Oakland Raiders -- who currently hold the tiebreaker -- at 5-4. They're followed by the San Diego Chargers are 4-5 and the Denver Broncos at 3-6.
It's Week 11 and the Chiefs are tied with the lead in the division so no matter the circumstances it can't be considered a must-win.
Yes, the Chiefs can lose and still win the division. No, three losses in a row wouldn't mean the Chiefs are out of it. Would it be more difficult? Obviously. But it's not the end of the world.
Even a Chiefs loss may not change a lot of things in the AFC West after Week 11. The Raiders are travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. I know the Raiders have been playing better but the Steelers should still walk away with this one. The Chargers host the Broncos on Monday Night Football so San Diego will either take a step back or Denver will essentially be eliminated from all division title talk (as if they weren't already).
So it's very possible the Chiefs lose this week and don't see much change in the division. Even a Chiefs loss coupled with a Raiders or Chargers victory doesn't mean it's a must-win. But it is a very important game.
The Chiefs are past the point of just trying to get better. They are a good team, despite what Todd Haley says. They're within reach of the playoffs. The Chiefs need to find some sort of killer instinct -- which has been missing in recent weeks -- and show it against the Cardinals.
So it's not a must-win as in the Chiefs must win to get into the playoffs. But it works hand in hand because playoff teams beat teams like the Cardinals.