The Kansas City Chiefs (7-1) are trying to make history. They're looking to become just the ninth repeat Super Bowl champs and the first since the Patriots in 2003-04.
The Chiefs' 7-1 record puts them just a half-game behind Pittsburgh in the AFC, and with a +101 margin of victory, Kansas City again looks poised to make a Super Bowl run.
But the Chiefs haven't necessarily faced a gauntlet of strong competition. They have impressive road wins at Baltimore and Buffalo, but their opponent winning percentage of .397 gives them the third-easiest schedule in the NFL through eight weeks.
Mahomes and Ma-homies
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his array of offensive weapons deservedly get the spotlight in every game. Kansas City ranks top five in the league in average net yards (410.5, 4th), average net passing yards (286.4, 4th), third-down conversion percentage (49.5, t-3rd), average points scored (31.6, 3rd) and average point differential (12.6, 1st).
The Chiefs have had 61 "big plays" or rushes of 10+ yards or receptions of 20+ yards, ranking third in the league. Their eight touchdowns of 20+ yards are second behind Seattle (10).
Mahomes has 2,315 passing yards (2nd), 21 passing touchdowns (2nd), just one interception (1st) and a passer rating of 115.0 (2nd). At the season's midway point, he and Seattle's Russell Wilson are neck and neck for the MVP race.
Wide receiver Tyreek Hill is second in the league with eight total TDs on 537 receiving yards, while Travis Kelce is eighth with 610 receiving yards, the most among tight ends.
The Chiefs' ability to score inside the 10-yard line is stuff of legend. Over the last three seasons, Kansas City has scored points on 81 of 82 goal-to-go drives, including 63 touchdowns. That 98.7 scoring percentage leads the league over that time frame.
This year, the Chiefs have TDs on 14-of-17 goal-to-go drives and are scoring TDs on 82.4 percent of red-zone trips.
A big part of that is Kansas City's elaborate play-calling in short fields with misdirections, underhanded shovel passes and linemen leaking out into the flat.
Eight different offensive players have scored touchdowns in goal-to-go scenarios for the Chiefs this year, third-most in the NFL.
Kansas City ranks third in the NFL with just 201.3 net passing yards allowed. They have allowed opponent passers to average a rating of just 76.8, second-lowest in the league.
Safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Daniel Sorensen both have two interceptions, while Sorensen is 13th among all secondary players with 47 tackles.
Kansas City has nine total interceptions, tied for third-most in the NFL. The team's 14 takeaways are tied for tops in the NFL.
- The Chiefs have allowed 142.8 rushing yards per game, fourth-worst in the NFL. Six different opposing rushers have gained at least 70 yards in Kansas City's eight games.
- Although the Chiefs have allowed limited opponents to 11 sacks, they've given up 67 pressures which is 14th-worst in the league.
- The Chiefs have averaged just +00:34 in time of possession, tied with Carolina for 15th.
Carolina is 2-4 all-time in six meetings with Kansas City through the years.