NFL Playoffs 2019: Pretenders vs. contenders entering Week 6

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
6 of 7
NFL Playoffs
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

AFC No. 2 Seed: Kansas City Chiefs – Contender

There’s a sour taste in everyone’s mouths after the Kansas City Chiefs lost at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 5 to the Colts. The defense proved to be problematic once again and lost Chris Jones in the process while Patrick Mahomes aggravated an ankle injury and looked mortal for the first time in the 2019 season. Don’t let that color your perception of how dangerous this team is and can be come the NFL Playoffs, however.

In a game where just about everything that could go wrong did for the Chiefs, they still only lost to a potential playoff team by only six points. Furthermore, their offense has remained elite outside of the loss to Indy without their most dynamic weapon, Tyreek Hill, on the field. They’re a contender now and, with potential moves at the trade deadline ahead, that status should be strengthened moving forward.

AFC No. 1 Seed: New England Patriots – Contender

Make no mistake, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have only been challenged once in their first five games of the 2019 season. Outside of their 16-10 victory over an admittedly very formidable Bills team, the Patriots’ other four opponents have combined for just one victory. Indeed, that dampens their 5-0 start to a certain degree.

At the same time, though, Bill Belichick has possibly the best defense that we’ve seen in New England under his watch while the offense still has capable pieces. Even though the Pats don’t face an above-.500 opponent until Week 9 (at Baltimore), this group has done what great teams do against bad teams: leave them in the dust. With that and also showing their moxie in a slugfest with Buffalo, the defending Super Bowl champs are contenders to repeat.