KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Things look bleak for the 1-3 Kansas City Chiefs. They’ve lost three straight games, allowing more than 30 points each time. They trail the 4-0 Denver Broncos by three games in the AFC West standings.
The situation certainly isn’t good, but it’s probably not as dismal as it seems. The Chiefs are one of four NFL teams to have played three true road games. None of the other three teams has a record better than the Chiefs. The Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles are 1-3, the Detroit Lions 0-4.
Of course, none of those teams coughed up a home game this year for the NFL’s London project, so the Chiefs will play just seven home games while the others get eight apiece.
The Chiefs have played the NFL’s most difficult schedule to date, based on the combined record of their four opponents (13-3).
So maybe things aren’t as bad as they look for the Chiefs, who play their second game of the season at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday against the 1-3 Chicago Bears.
ESPN Analytics crunched the numbers and came up with some interesting ones for the Chiefs and the outlook for the remainder of the season.
The Chiefs were ranked as the NFL’s 14th best team, despite their 1-3 record. They’re predicted to finish with a record of 8-8.
They have a 20 percent chance to make the playoffs, a 5.6 percent chance to win the AFC West, a 2.5 percent chance to make the AFC championship game, a 0.8 percent chance to make the Super Bowl and a 0.2 percent chance to win the Super Bowl.
So there’s a chance.
ESPN’s Analytics had the Chiefs as an underdog in three of their first four games, predicting they had a marginal (53 percent) chance to win that one, last month’s game against the Denver Broncos.
But they are predicted to win three of their next four games. They have a 76 percent chance to beat the Bears, a 43 percent to win on Oct. 18 at the Minnesota Vikings, a 55 percent chance to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers at home on Oct. 25 and a 55 percent chance to beat the Lions on Nov. 1 in London.
If the Chiefs can fix their problems -- a somewhat dubious assumption, given all that ails them -- a 5-3 record at the season’s midway point isn’t an unreasonable thought.
ESPN Analytics also had some draft projections for the Chiefs, for those who have already given up on this season. The Chiefs are predicted to draft 15th in 2016. They have a 26 percent chance of drafting in the top 10, a seven percent chance of drafting in the top five and a 0.5 percent chance of having the top overall pick.