Just a few months ago, seeing the Kansas City Chiefs atop the AFC standings would’ve been unthinkable, considering that they were 3-4 and just suffered a 24-point loss to the Tennessee Titans. Well, with two weeks left in the regular season, the Chiefs have won eight straight games and retaken the top seed in the AFC standings. This isn’t about the Chiefs though. This is about the four teams that defeated the Chiefs earlier this season, and the consequences that followed.
Through the first seven weeks of the season, the Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills, and Tennessee Titans (in that order) all beat the Chiefs. While those teams were probably jumping for joy and feeling ecstatic that they’d just taken down the two-time defending AFC champions, they had no idea what grisly fate awaited them. In the weeks that followed, each team would end up losing to one of the worst teams in the league (at the time).
The first to suffer this fate worse than death was the Bills. Just four weeks after winning against Patrick Mahomes and his merry men by a 38-20 score, the Bills lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars, giving then-coach Urban Meyer his second win of the season. The Jags have not won a single game since, and Meyer has been canned. Scientists are still unsure whether the Bills’ loss was due to the universe punishing the Bills for beating the Chiefs or due to the ManningCast curse, which saw Josh Allen make an appearance on the show the week prior. As we all know, any player who makes an appearance on the ManningCast is doomed to lose their next game.
The very next week, the Baltimore Ravens, who edged the Chiefs 36-35 way back in Week 2 of the season and were sitting pretty atop the AFC North at 6-2, lost their Thursday Night matchup to the 2-7 Miami Dolphins. They didn’t just lose. They got smoked 22-10. Albeit, the Dolphins have become a much better team since then, having won seven straight games to move to 8-7 on the season, but at the time, the Dolphins were widely considered one of the worst teams in the league. Their only wins of the season prior to this game had been against the New England Patriots (before they got going) and the Houston Texans (more on them in a moment). This Dolphins-Ravens game would surely be a victory for Baltimore. It was obvious, and yet the Chiefs found a way to get their revenge, as they watched the Ravens get humiliated on a national stage.
Eleven days later, the curse came knocking for Tennessee. The Titans had already lost to the Jets earlier in the season, but that was before they crushed Kansas City 27-3 and clearly not an embarrassment for the Titans to endure. The Titans, who had won six straight contests since falling to the Jets, were defeated soundly by Tyrod Taylor and the Houston Texans 22-13. To be fair, the Titans were without Derrick Henry for this game, but still, any loss to the miserable Texans is hard to defend. Have the Texans gotten better since? Maybe, but they’re still clearly not a good team.
The curse went quiet after this three-week stretch. The only team left was the Los Angeles Chargers, but they didn’t have any terrible teams on their schedule. After beating the Chiefs, the Chargers had to face the Raiders, Browns, Ravens, Patriots, Eagles, Vikings, Steelers, Broncos, Bengals, Giants, and Chiefs again. I could see an argument that the Giants are a terrible team, and they clearly are, but for some reason the Giants (4-11) don’t have that same aura of “terribleness” surrounding them that the Houston Texans (4-11) do. Despite both teams having the same record and the Texans having more strong wins on their schedule, many NFL fans still consider the Texans worse than Big Blue, so the Chiefs curse waited a few extra weeks to embarrass the Chargers, and it was the worst embarrassment of them all.
Led by rookie quarterback Davis Mills, the Texans put up 41 points on the Chargers — two points fewer than the team had scored in their last three games combined. That was the most points the Texans had scored in a game all season, and they played the Jaguars twice. Rex Burkhead, a former passing down back for the Patriots and Bengals between 2013 and 2020 put up a career-high 149 rushing yards on 22 attempts at 31 years old. That’s Burkhead’s highest single-game rushing yardage total of his career...by 30 yards. Like we knew the Chargers run defense had some holes, but to be taken behind the shed and pounded by Burkhead? That’s a whole new level of shame. Burkhead had only reached 100 yards rushing one time before, and that was way back on New Years’ Day in 2017.
I’m not the first person to discover this trend. In fact, this trend was brought to attention after the Titans’ Week 11 loss to Houston by TikToker @thedrewallen_. He predicted a Texans’ win over the Chargers on December 26 and, by George, it came true.
The implications of this curse are tremendous. Does this mean that if an AFC team defeats the Chiefs in the playoffs, they will lose the following week? The Chiefs still have two teams in playoff contention remaining on their schedule (the Bengals and Broncos), does that mean those teams — try as they may to help their playoff positioning — are each doomed to lose one of their next three games whether it be against the Chiefs or the team they face the week after? Perhaps the Chiefs are meant to reach their third straight Super Bowl this season. Maybe the curse doesn’t apply to the playoffs because the Texans, Jets, Giants, Lions, and Jaguars all won’t be participating. However, that’s just a theory. We can’t be sure and it’s better to play it safe than sorry when dealing with the supernatural.
Luckily, there are no games played after the Super Bowl, so there is no reason to fear if you are a fan of an NFC team in the playoffs this season. If you’re in the AFC though, you better hope you don’t run into Kansas City in the playoffs. Better yet, pray that you run into the team that took out the Chiefs the previous week. That’d be the best-case scenario. If you do see Reid, Mahomes, Kelce, Hill, and Mathieu on your schedule though, you better start burning incense and lighting lavender-scented candles everywhere you go because there’s clearly a curse afoot and it has yet to be broken.