2019 Playoff Seeding and Home Field Advantage Watch

bsj

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Yes it’s early.
I don’t care.

As if this morning New England is effectively 2 games clear of the field, and I’m digging it.

Meat of the schedule to come though....assuming they can handle the Jets, next 6 games are against teams that can pose potential problems.
 
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bsj

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2 games clear is hard to claim when if they lose the rematch to Buffalo puts them tied, if my math is correct
I said effectively 2 games clear simply Because they currently own the tiebreaker. It’s not a legit 2 games.

That being said, who’d have thunk the only other team with less than 2 losses after 6 weeks would be Buffalo.
 

tims4wins

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2 points:
1) Jets game is on the road. That will be a defensive rock fight
2) Bills game is in Foxboro. Bill only 2 wins in Foxboro this era are vs a broken thumb Jacoby and a resting week 17 Pats. I like our chances in that one
 

tims4wins

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The "effectively 2 games up" thing only really applies to teams outside of your division that you have played once and own the tiebreaker vs. (or if you play them twice, beat them twice, and sit 1 game up in the standings; then you'd have to drop 2 full games in order for them to pass you). I'd say they are 1 up on Buffalo, but with 1 to play.
 

wiffleballhero

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In the simulacrum
Leaving aside both Buffalo and the rhetorical effect of 'effectively,' the striking thing about the seeding race is that the Pats otherwise can lose any particular game vs. Baltimore, KC or Houston and that, alone, is not enough to tip the balance of the seeding. And it seems unlikely that any of those three team are going to run the table the rest of the way, so the Pats are likely to be in a situation where they could lose a couple and still be the one seed, even with head-to-head losses.

Baltimore has a rough go of it with SEA, LAR and HOU on the schedule.

KC has to run the gauntlet of the NFC north.

Houston, admittedly has the easiest schedule of the three.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Football Outsiders gives the Pats a 83.8% chance of the #1 seed and 93.2% of a bye. KC is 2nd most likely for #1 at 5.2%.

The Patriots are more likely to get a WC than to host a game on WC weekend. This implies that the most likely scenario for the Patriots not getting a bye is Buffalo winning the division, as opposed to being passed by 2 of KC/HOU/BAL.

In the NFC, it's SF with 41.2% #1 and 59.6% bye leading the field.
 

RedOctober3829

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As of today....
1. New England 6-0(3-0 division, 4-0 AFC, .303 SOS, .303 SOV)
2. Houston 4-2(1-0 division, 3-0 AFC, .500 SOS, .375 SOV)(wins tiebreaker over KC and Baltimore due to AFC record)
3. Kansas City 4-2(1-0 division, 3-2 AFC, .578 SOS, .548 SOV)(wins tiebreaker over Baltimore due to H2H)
4. Baltimore 4-2(2-1 division, 3-2 AFC, .300 SOS, .196 SOV)
5. Buffalo 4-1
6. Oakland 3-2(wins tiebreaker over Indy due to H2H)
 

Ale Xander

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It's way too early with Bills, Houston, Chiefs, and Ravens (i.e. teams 2-5) still on the schedule.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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As of today....
1. New England 6-0(3-0 division, 4-0 AFC, .303 SOS, .303 SOV)
2. Houston 4-2(1-0 division, 3-0 AFC, .500 SOS, .375 SOV)(wins tiebreaker over KC and Baltimore due to AFC record)
3. Kansas City 4-2(1-0 division, 3-2 AFC, .578 SOS, .548 SOV)(wins tiebreaker over Baltimore due to H2H)
4. Baltimore 4-2(2-1 division, 3-2 AFC, .300 SOS, .196 SOV)
5. Buffalo 4-1
6. Oakland 3-2(wins tiebreaker over Indy due to H2H)
Wow, that Houston 2 game lead in the conference is pretty substantial. If Houston ends up tied with KC, that's likely to persist. Houston will play the Ravens - a win would give them control of any such tie, a loss would mean they win a 3 way tie or a KC tie, but lose to BAL.
 

BaseballJones

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As of today....
1. New England 6-0(3-0 division, 4-0 AFC, .303 SOS, .303 SOV)
2. Houston 4-2(1-0 division, 3-0 AFC, .500 SOS, .375 SOV)(wins tiebreaker over KC and Baltimore due to AFC record)
3. Kansas City 4-2(1-0 division, 3-2 AFC, .578 SOS, .548 SOV)(wins tiebreaker over Baltimore due to H2H)
4. Baltimore 4-2(2-1 division, 3-2 AFC, .300 SOS, .196 SOV)
5. Buffalo 4-1
6. Oakland 3-2(wins tiebreaker over Indy due to H2H)
The Pats should get to 8-0 before hitting the tough part of their schedule. The Jets might give them some fits next Monday night, but the Pats should win that game. I think they handle Cleveland at home more easily than the Jets on the road.

So assume they're at 8-0. Then they enter a challenging 5-game gauntlet: at Bal, at Phi, vs Dal, at Hou, vs KC. They finish at Cin, vs Mia, and vs Buf. So that's 3-0 that they should get at the end, especially with the Bills coming to Foxboro. So that five-game stretch is everything. Let's say they go 2-3 in that stretch. That puts them at 13-3.

Here are the schedules for KC, Hou, Bal, and Buf.

KC still has at Den, vs GB, vs Min, at Ten, at NE, at LAC, and at Chi. They should lose one or two of those games.
Hou still has at Ind, at Jax, at Bal, vs Ind, vs NE, at Ten, and vs Ten. They should also lose one or two of those games.
Bal still has at Sea, vs NE, vs Hou, at LAR, vs SF, at Cle. They should lose one or two of those games.
Buf still has vs Phi, at Cle, at Dal, vs Bal, at Pit, at NE. They should lose at least the NE game and probably one more.

Long story short, I don't see any team other than NE being able to achieve a 13-3 record or better. Buffalo *could*, but it's most likely that even if they do, they'll be 0-2 against New England, giving the tiebreaker to the Pats.

So even if NE loses their games at Bal, at Hou, and vs KC, I still see them at 13-3 with the #1 seed in the conference. And at this point, any H2H victory the Pats get over Bal, KC, or Hou effectively knocks that team out of the mix for #1 seed, seeing as though that's one of the tough games the Pats would have left that would suddenly be a W, and a H2H win at that over a rival.

They still have a ton of improvement to do, but they're in very good shape.
 

5dice

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And @HOU is likely the hardest game on the schedule, considering home/away and quality of opponents.
As it sits today, yes, but who is the toughest game on the Patriots schedule has changed like 10 times this year already.

Remember when the Ravens were super scary?
Remember when going to Philly was going to be a nightmare?
Wow the Cowboys looked real good three weeks ago, now they are joke.
Now we have folks predicting the Jets will be real challenging because Darnold helped them win one game and its easy to pile on the Pats offense.

Who the hell knows how good this Houston team will be in a few weeks. They lost at home to Carolina a few weeks back.
 

j-man

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my O2 cents
1 NE best case 16-0 Worst Case 14-2
2 Hou Best Case 12-4 Worst Case 10-6
3 KC Best Case 11-5 Worst Cast 10-6
4 Balt B C 11-5 W-C 9-7
5 Buff B-C 11-5 W-C 9-7
6 i still have Indy over Oak at 6
INDY B-C 10-6 W-C 9-7
OAK B-C 9-7 W-C 6-10
PITT yes they are 2-4 but other than Buff Rams and Indy and all 3 at home they couild win 10
B-C 10-6 W-C 8-8
Jax B-C 8-8 W-C 7-9
DEN B-C 9-7 W-C 6-10
LAC B-C 7-9 W-C 5-11
CLE B-C 8-8 W-C 5-11
NYJ B-C 5-11 W-C 4-12
TENN B-C 6-10 W-C 5-11
MIA B-C 1-15 W-C 0-16
CINY B-C 3-13 W-C 1-15
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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my O2 cents
1 NE best case 16-0 Worst Case 14-2
2 Hou Best Case 12-4 Worst Case 10-6
3 KC Best Case 11-5 Worst Cast 10-6
4 Balt B C 11-5 W-C 9-7
5 Buff B-C 11-5 W-C 9-7
6 i still have Indy over Oak at 6
INDY B-C 10-6 W-C 9-7
OAK B-C 9-7 W-C 6-10
PITT yes they are 2-4 but other than Buff Rams and Indy and all 3 at home they couild win 10
B-C 10-6 W-C 8-8
Jax B-C 8-8 W-C 7-9
DEN B-C 9-7 W-C 6-10
LAC B-C 7-9 W-C 5-11
CLE B-C 8-8 W-C 5-11
NYJ B-C 5-11 W-C 4-12
TENN B-C 6-10 W-C 5-11
MIA B-C 1-15 W-C 0-16
CINY B-C 3-13 W-C 1-15
11-5 as a "best case" for KC is absurd.
 
Jan 30, 2017
100
11-5 as a "best case" for KC is absurd.
What is your best case? My best case for the chiefs is 12-4, only a game off of 11-5. Wouldn't call that absurd.

I don't follow the AFC west as close as others, especially J-Man, but I am now living in Chiefs country, kingdom or whatever it's called, and there's a lot of concern. The defense can't get off the field, the o-line is a health hazard for Mahomes and they're going to depending some legit health concerns across the skill positions.

Maybe best case is a little stronger than 11-5, but back to back home loses and it's not too far fetched to see them getting through the season with three more loses as a best case scenario.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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The only two difficult road games left on their schedule are New England and Chicago. New England is obviously the favorite in that game, but Chicago is actually a pick 'em despite being a road game. Even just winning all the games they're already favored in plus a pick 'em would leave them at 13-3.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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my O2 cents
CLE B-C 8-8 W-C 5-11
Cleveland is absolutely going to win 10 games. After NE, they get:

@DEN
BUF
PIT
MIA
@PIT
CIN
@ARI
BAL
@CIN

Unless the wheels fall off, they split BUF/BAL (they already beat BAL pretty handily), they win 10 games.

Even if the wheels fall off, they aren't losing to CIN, ARI, or MIA and likely will win 2 out of @DEN, @PIT, and PIT. I think the worse case scenario is 8-8.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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Cleveland is absolutely going to win 10 games. After NE, they get:

@DEN
BUF
PIT
MIA
@PIT
CIN
@ARI
BAL
@CIN

Unless the wheels fall off, they split BUF/BAL (they already beat BAL pretty handily), they win 10 games.

Even if the wheels fall off, they aren't losing to CIN, ARI, or MIA and likely will win 2 out of @DEN, @PIT, and PIT. I think the worse case scenario is 8-8.
I would take the under on 10 wins for them. Currently 2-4 and will most likely be 2-5 after week 8. The Bills will be tough, and Den and Pit have looked at least competent enough at times that those aren’t obvious wins, esp for a 2-4 team that’s looked awful at times. Ravens aren’t nearly as good as everyone was saying, and of course already lost to Cle, but also not a clear win. Even the Cardinals have looked ok and could be 3-3 if they hadn’t tied week one (of course the wins are against Cincy and Atl). I think 10-6 is best case scenario for the Browns, with worst case something like 6-10 or 7-9.
 
Jan 30, 2017
100
The only two difficult road games left on their schedule are New England and Chicago. New England is obviously the favorite in that game, but Chicago is actually a pick 'em despite being a road game. Even just winning all the games they're already favored in plus a pick 'em would leave them at 13-3.
That's fair. As someone else mentioned, absolute best case is 14-2. Maybe I'm looking at most realistic and worst case.

Also, all of my friends and colleagues are Chiefs fans with a Brady complex so I take a little extra delight in their shortcomings. Looking forward to hosting them all on December 8th for the game :)
 

Saints Rest

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What is your best case? My best case for the chiefs is 12-4, only a game off of 11-5. Wouldn't call that absurd.

I don't follow the AFC west as close as others, especially J-Man, but I am now living in Chiefs country, kingdom or whatever it's called, and there's a lot of concern. The defense can't get off the field, the o-line is a health hazard for Mahomes and they're going to depending some legit health concerns across the skill positions.

Maybe best case is a little stronger than 11-5, but back to back home loses and it's not too far fetched to see them getting through the season with three more loses as a best case scenario.
I feel like the bolded could have been (and likely was, multiple times) said about the Pats over the last however many years.
 

lostjumper

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I feel like the bolded could have been (and likely was, multiple times) said about the Pats over the last however many years.
But Pat's fans have trusted that the Goat Coach and Goat QB can get it figured out in time for the stretch run and playoffs. Andy Reid has never shown that ability before, and Mahomes is great, but still very young. There is a giant difference between the 2 situations.
 
Jan 30, 2017
100
But Pat's fans have trusted that the Goat Coach and Goat QB can get it figured out in time for the stretch run and playoffs. Andy Reid has never shown that ability before, and Mahomes is great, but still very young. There is a giant difference between the 2 situations.
All very true, but Mahomes still terrifies me. The tougher their road the better. Would love to see that defense and offensive line have to travel in the playoffs.
 

j-man

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Hey j-man, for your top 5 only, where do you see the losses in your best and worst cases?
ok
1 NE @ BALT @ PHILLY
2HOU Best Case BALT NE Worst case Balt NE 1 Indy Den rem K Jackson played for them and has been great so far in denver and he had 2 int at denver that without those they lose to den last year
3 KC best case @ NE @ CHI and 1 of GB MINN worst case they lose @NE'@CHI GB MINN
4 Balt Best case @ SEA RAMS @CLE Worst case @SEA RAMS @CLE NE SF OR Pitt
5 buff best case @ ne @ dal pitt den worst case @ne @dal pitt den philly cle
 

j-man

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Cleveland is absolutely going to win 10 games. After NE, they get:

@DEN
BUF
PIT
MIA
@PIT
CIN
@ARI
BAL
@CIN

Unless the wheels fall off, they split BUF/BAL (they already beat BAL pretty handily), they win 10 games.

Even if the wheels fall off, they aren't losing to CIN, ARI, or MIA and likely will win 2 out of @DEN, @PIT, and PIT. I think the worse case scenario is 8-8.
Cle is so up/down they wouild had lost to den last year if 1 of denver CB'S does not get ejected for punching a cle player and vance joseph failed to go for it on 4th and 1 from cle 6 even if they missed cle was not going 60-65 yards for a fg

they will lose @ den silit pitt that is 3-7 best mia 4-7 split Ciny 5-8 split zona balit 6-9 buff is 50/50
 

streeter88

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ok
1 NE @ BALT @ PHILLY
2HOU Best Case BALT NE Worst case Balt NE 1 Indy Den rem K Jackson played for them and has been great so far in denver and he had 2 int at denver that without those they lose to den last year
3 KC best case @ NE @ CHI and 1 of GB MINN worst case they lose @NE'@CHI GB MINN
4 Balt Best case @ SEA RAMS @CLE Worst case @SEA RAMS @CLE NE SF OR Pitt
5 buff best case @ ne @ dal pitt den worst case @ne @dal pitt den philly cle
Thanks j-man.

Your potential Pats losses seem logical, but I would have thought based on recent performances that the @HOU game is also a risk for the Pats?
 

Anthologos

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Jun 4, 2017
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4 games for u @ne @chi GB and minn all those teams can play keep away

I can't see KC losing to Chicago...I feel like in Mahomes worst game he is likely to accidentally throw for 3 TDs, and I don't see Trubisky countering. Plus, Mack has been shown to be able to be disappeared at times. He isn't LT, and it isn't 1986 anymore.

Minnesota is also kind of a gift game for you to award them...technically they could beat KC doing everything you suggest, and yes cook should be able to run for 200 yards while cousins throws for 3/2 and change. But they are just not a sure thing. Too weirdly inconsistent. I wouldn't be surprised if KC wins both to end up 13-2 sans NE.
 
Jan 30, 2017
100
I can't see KC losing to Chicago...I feel like in Mahomes worst game he is likely to accidentally throw for 3 TDs, and I don't see Trubisky countering. Plus, Mack has been shown to be able to be disappeared at times. He isn't LT, and it isn't 1986 anymore.

Minnesota is also kind of a gift game for you to award them...technically they could beat KC doing everything you suggest, and yes cook should be able to run for 200 yards while cousins throws for 3/2 and change. But they are just not a sure thing. Too weirdly inconsistent. I wouldn't be surprised if KC wins both to end up 13-2 sans NE.
Trubisky is bad. Trubisky against the Chiefs D? That's a different story. Mack isn't the only stud on that defense. I could see them getting after Mahomes enough and the Chiefs D having the same issues getting off the field.

If Hicks is healthy it will be a long day for Chiefs and their o-line.

Edit: spelling
 

m0ckduck

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Trying to forecast the outcome of Chiefs games that are several weeks out seems like a fool's errand— even more so than the usual foolishness that is trying predict football games that haven't been played yet. Because it really depends on Mahomes' ankle, no? The difference between him at 100% versus, say, 75% is huge in terms of papering over his team's weaknesses and probably spells the margin between a W and an L in many of these games. The ankle could shortly be a non-issue... or Von Miller could roll over it tonight and severely compromise him for the next two months.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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And yet Vegas does it every year, and months before the season even starts.

Of course there are lots of things that can happen between now and then, but it takes guts and some skill to even try to make these predictions.
 

m0ckduck

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And yet Vegas does it every year, and months before the season even starts.

Of course there are lots of things that can happen between now and then, but it takes guts and some skill to even try to make these predictions.
Sure.

I didn't mean it like, "stop your pointless discussion, people!". I was just dwelling on the thought that, much more so than for your average NFL team, the Chiefs seeding position— their next few games, in particular— seem to hinge on one hugely unpredictable single factor.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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4 games for u @ne @chi GB and minn all those teams can play keep away
Sure those are hard games on the schedule, but it is 100% possible that KC could go 4-0 in them. They're already favored against GB and Minnesota and are a pick 'em vs Chicago. Seems you're struggling with probable vs best case.
 

DrewDawg

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I can't see KC losing to Chicago...I feel like in Mahomes worst game he is likely to accidentally throw for 3 TDs,
I get your over-arching point, but in 2 of the last 3 games Mahomes has thrown for 0 or 1 TDs, so he set a really high bar, but the last 3 games he's only completed 56% of his passes, and his rating has been under 100 for all 3, whereas it was over 130 his first 3. If it's because of an ankle thing that will linger, then Chicago has the defense that can cause issues.
 

Al Zarilla

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The ankle that got bent in the Houston game, and TV showed more bending than I thought one could take without breaking, was that the same ankle that was hurt before? And, I don’t know if it’s worse hurting the same ankle twice or dividing it up. Depends on a lot of things I’m sure.
 

Red Averages

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Last year KC was #1 in offensive passing DVOA and #4 in rushing DVOA. The defense was 12th in pass DVOA and 32nd in rush DVOA.
This year KC is #2 in offensive passing DVOA and #20 in rushing DVOA. The defense is 11th in pass DVOA and 31st in rush DVOA.

So a huge difference this year is that they are running the ball far worse than last year, combined with a poor run defense means they really need Mahomes to control the game. Their run blocking O-Line is 3rd worst in the NFL this year. If he's not able to get out of the pocket as effectively with a bad ankle and they aren't able to run the ball, it's hard for them to retain control of the ball on offense. That means an already bad rush D gets more tired as the game goes on. Not hard to see why they are struggling more this year.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I'd be interested to read a piece on whether defenses have begun to play the Chiefs offense differently. What jumps out at me, looking at Mahomes, is the following: In his first 15 games, he completed > 60% of his throws in 13 of them. And one of the two < 60% games was his second career start. In his last 10 games (including playoffs), he has completed > 60% of his throws in only 4 of them. He has still had some devastatingly effective games even when completing relatively few passes. But they've lost four of the six games in that run where he has gone < 60%.

Part of this could be throwing to backs less, particularly after Hunt was released (although the trend starts a few games after that). Part of it also could be the running game being less effective and therefore needing to throw further downfield more often to reach the sticks. But I also wonder whether defenses have adjusted a little bit and decided that they need to take away some of his safer throws and just live and die with the high variance bombs.
 

Harry Hooper

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Last year KC was #1 in offensive passing DVOA and #4 in rushing DVOA. The defense was 12th in pass DVOA and 32nd in rush DVOA.
This year KC is #2 in offensive passing DVOA and #20 in rushing DVOA. The defense is 11th in pass DVOA and 31st in rush DVOA.

So a huge difference this year is that they are running the ball far worse than last year, combined with a poor run defense means they really need Mahomes to control the game. Their run blocking O-Line is 3rd worst in the NFL this year. If he's not able to get out of the pocket as effectively with a bad ankle and they aren't able to run the ball, it's hard for them to retain control of the ball on offense. That means an already bad rush D gets more tired as the game goes on. Not hard to see why they are struggling more this year.
How much of the Chiefs not running as well this season is the dinged Mahomes himself not running so well? He was #2 in rushing yards for KC last season.
 

InstaFace

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Last year KC was #1 in offensive passing DVOA and #4 in rushing DVOA. The defense was 12th in pass DVOA and 32nd in rush DVOA.
This year KC is #2 in offensive passing DVOA and #20 in rushing DVOA. The defense is 11th in pass DVOA and 31st in rush DVOA.

So a huge difference this year is that they are running the ball far worse than last year, combined with a poor run defense means they really need Mahomes to control the game. Their run blocking O-Line is 3rd worst in the NFL this year. If he's not able to get out of the pocket as effectively with a bad ankle and they aren't able to run the ball, it's hard for them to retain control of the ball on offense. That means an already bad rush D gets more tired as the game goes on. Not hard to see why they are struggling more this year.
That #2 Offensive Passing DVOA, in rankings context:

1. SEA, 62.9% (!)
2. KC, 55.7%
3. DAL 45.4%
--- big gap ---
4. DET 28.3%
5. NE 26.5%
6. JAX 26.0%

Rushing DVOA for those 6 offenses are ranked, respectively, 19th, 20th as noted, 2nd (despair not, Cowboys fans!), 28th, 18th, and 21st). But net overall offensive DVOA has 5 of those 6 all in the top 8 offenses by DVOA, with the top 3 being the top 3 overall. So clearly, rushing mediocrity is not an achilles heel if your passing game is good enough. That's an important thing for Patriots fans to remember.
 
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Oppo

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Early reports on Mahomes is at least 3 weeks. Good chance to lose to GB/Min and then beat Ten.
 

johnmd20

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I feel like unless they are in serious trouble it makes total sense to sit him for 4, then give him the bye
There were rumblings that KC should have sat Mahomes yesterday and given him two weeks to heal the ankle. Because, presumably, he hurt his knee by favoring the ankle. Now they have to deal with a month off, not a game off, and they played Mahomes against a pretty crappy, very flawed Broncos team.