It’s a saying as old as the NFL itself; “If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.” Currently, the Kansas City Chiefs are the best in the AFC and the defending Super Bowl champs. Sure, you could argue that they haven’t looked as good as the Chiefs teams we are used to seeing, but 6-2 is 6-2 no matter how you look at it. The Dolphins are 6-2, and both teams are on a collision course to hold the top seed in the AFC. Frankfurt, Germany, is in for a treat for the first-ever NFL game as they see two top-level teams battle it out.

The Chiefs Story

The Kansas City Chiefs enter this week after losing to the division-rival Denver Broncos. Division games are always challenging, but the Broncos had lost 16 straight games to the Chiefs before last Sunday’s loss. Not only did the Broncos break that streak, they held the Chiefs to just nine points, all from field goals. That’s as uncharacteristic as it gets for the Chiefs, but bad games happen, as do losses. Even though the Dolphins beat this same Broncos team by 50 points in week three, it was nice of them to help us out. Now, the Dolphins can not only take 1st place in the AFC but also take a one-game lead.

The Dolphins Story

For the Fins, they enter this game coming off a division victory against the New England Patriots, completing the sweep of their rival. Any time you can sweep a division opponent, it should be treated as a big win, but because of the Patriots’ 2-6 record, it’ll be overlooked. That’s the narrative currently hovering over this Dolphins team. “They can’t beat good teams.” It’s not something you want hovering over you, and this weekend is as good a time as any to cut the legs out from under it.

The Matchup

We already know their records, but let’s jump into some stats. The Dolphins currently lead the league in passing yards, passing touchdowns, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, and yards per game. The Chiefs are third in passing yards, fifth in passing touchdowns, 18th in rushing yards, 21st in rushing touchdowns, and 4th in yards per game. The Chiefs’ defense, however, has been their strength. They currently rank fourth, while the Dolphins’ defensive unit is coming in at 15th. The Dolphins’ defense will enter this Sunday at full strength for the first time all season, so you could say that it will be a different ballgame.

I don’t expect the Chiefs to roll over, however. Last week, their receivers seemed to have misplaced their hands as they dropped several nice passes from Mahomes. I’m sure this is something they worked on during the week, so the coverage from both Ramsey and Howard will have to be on point. The other important point of the matchup is the team’s travel plans. The Dolphins arrived early in the week and spent the time getting acclimated to the time change, while the Chiefs arrived on Friday morning. The science behind the travel could favor either team, but at the end of the day, a game will be played, and the better team will win.

Playoff and MVP Implications 

Although it’s only week nine, this game could impact the course of the AFC for the rest of the season. With a win, the Miami Dolphins would hold the top seed in the AFC with a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Chiefs. It’s early, but the thought of home-field advantage in the playoffs is something Dolphins fans should be excited about. The other giant implication could be the MVP conversation. As it stands, Tua is ahead of Mahomes in the odds, but with a win on Sunday, he could cement himself as the favorite going forward. There is still a lot of football to be played, but this game is big.

Set your alarms for 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, and don’t forget that we “fall back” an hour tonight due to Daylight Savings Time ending. This could very well be the matchup of the week with the potential to be the game of the year. It’s time for the Dolphins to step up and get that big win against a good team and head into their bye week, leading the AFC with a 7-2 record.