Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs
Sep 8, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports
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Chiefs have a chance to prove point against Bengals

The Kansas City Chiefs started 5-0 last season. They beat the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles in consecutive weeks to start the campaign, and Alex Smith was being talked about as an MVP candidate.

Then, everything fell apart. The Chiefs fell to 6-6 while Smith was horrific throughout much of October and November before the team rallied to finish 10-6, winning the AFC West. However, the playoffs brought a microcosm of the season, blowing a 21-3 second-half lead to the Tennessee Titans in the Wild Card round.

Now, after starting 5-0, Kansas City lost to the Patriots in a. 43-40 thriller last Sunday night. If the Chiefs want to erase any and all notions of another midseason swoon, it starts this Sunday evening against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Kansas City is installed as a six-point favorite at Arrowhead Stadium, a number that might have been influenced a bit by the game being flexed into primetime. The Chiefs have not lost over their last five regular-season games under the lights at home, while the Bengals have been notoriously bad on Sunday and Monday nights over the Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis eras.

The Chiefs are a bit banged up going into the affair, with Justin Houston and Eric Berry both doubtful to play with hamstring and heel injuries, respectively. Berry hasn’t played a down all year while Houston was hurt in a Week 5 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars and hasn’t practiced since. Star guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is also out after being placed on injured reserve with a broken fibula and torn tendons in his ankle.

Still, all the injury woes in the world won’t make for a good excuse. In the NFL, everybody is banged up through six weeks, something the Bengals can certainly attest to. Cincinnati is without tight ends Tyler Effect, and Tyler Kroft, running back Giovani Bernard, center Billy Price and cornerback Darqueze Dennard among others for the tilt.

If Patrick Mahoems continues to play like the NFL MVP that he’s been through six weeks, Kansas City will be awfully tough to beat for the Bengals and otherwise. Mahomes has 18 touchdowns and is on pace for 4,800 passing yards, while Tyreek Hill. and Travis Kelce are both on a track for more than 1,000 receiving yards, and Kareem Hunt is on the trail of better than 1,000 rushing yards.

If that quartet is dominant in front of a national audience come Sunday night, the idea of another Kansas City collapse will become a distant memory. However, if the offense stalls and the defense Domingues to stink, there will be worry in the concerned patrons leaving Arrowhead Stadium.

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