Kansas City Chiefs, once on top of the NFL, lose again

At 5-0, the Kansas City Chiefs looked like the best team in the NFL. That changed fast.

It’s the NFL, and because the league is so competitive, nobody is immune to catching losses in bunches. The Chiefs have found that out.

Kansas City lost for the third time in four games on Sunday, falling 28-17 to the Dallas Cowboys. None of the losses individually are bad. Kansas City lost at home to a talented Pittsburgh team. Then the Chiefs lost on a crazy finish at a desperate Oakland Raiders team. And the Cowboys aren’t bad either.

Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt hasn’t scored since Week 3. (AP)

But taken together, Kansas City suddenly doesn’t look like a contender anymore. The Chiefs are still a good team, but the magic of those first five games hasn’t continued. Kareem Hunt hasn’t scored since Week 3. Alex Smith finally threw his first interception of the season on Sunday. Kansas City’s defense, which lost safety Eric Berry in Week 1, looks like a problem. Had it not been for a crazy touchdown by Tyreek Hill on a fluky play at the end of the first half, the Chiefs’ loss would have looked worse.

The Cowboys dominated them. Dallas is getting hot (perhaps right before Ezekiel Elliott serves a six-game suspension, but given all the twists and turns there, who knows anymore), but if the Chiefs are supposed to be competing for an AFC title they shouldn’t be getting blown out like that.

The one thing in Kansas City’s favor is the AFC West, which at one point looked like the best division in football, has been bad. The Denver Broncos are quickly fading away and were embarrassed on Sunday at Philadelphia. The Oakland Raiders are a shell of what they were last season. The Los Angeles Chargers might be the Chiefs’ biggest contender, but their 0-4 start put them in a deep hole. The Chiefs don’t need to be great to win the division, and that’s good news because they haven’t been anything resembling great lately.

The Chiefs’ schedule lightens up a little bit the next few weeks, and that should help them get back on track. But against some tough competition the past few weeks, the Chiefs haven’t looked like a Super Bowl contender. That’s a disappointment, because that’s exactly what they looked like through five games.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!