Chiefs show Chargers fans that the AFC West is fully up for grabs with loss to Lions

Well well well... the Chiefs don't look invincible after all
Detroit Lions v Kansas City Chiefs
Detroit Lions v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages

The 2023 NFL season officially kicked into motion on Thursday as the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs hosted the Detroit Lions. While the LA Chargers were not playing on Thursday, Chargers fans were glued to their TVs to see how the Chiefs would look in this game.

After all, the road to the Super Bowl, letting alone winning the AFC West, goes through Arrowhead. The Chiefs are the gold standard in the NFL who have seemingly shown no weaknesses in recent years. Even with the Chargers gearing up the roster, they still have felt miles behind the Chiefs.

That feeling is not as strong after watching Kansas City play on Thursday Night Football. A Travis Kelce-less Chiefs team failed to get much going offensively at all, falling to the Lions 21-20 to start the season 0-1.

Chiefs' loss proves to Chargers fans that the AFC West is wide open

Of course, this is a long season and this is not going to be the Chiefs team that is going to take the field three months from now. Kansas City is hoping by then that both Travis Kelce and Chris Jones will be on the roster. After all, Kelce and Jones are the second and third-most important players on the team.

But even then, the Chiefs aura does not feel as strong as it has in years past. One of the biggest concerns about the team was a lackluster wide receiver group and how that would bear out with Patrick Mahomes. And what do you know, that lackluster wide receiver group was the entire reason why the Chiefs lost.

Kansas City's defense still played well and Mahomes still proved that he is the best quarterback on planet earth. But with bad receivers, no Kelce, and no Jones, the Chiefs looked like a team that the Chargers could easily beat this season. At the very least, the Chargers look far more talented than this version of the Chiefs.

There is no doubt that Kansas City is going to come back from this loss. The Chiefs are going to make the playoffs and they are going to be a legitimate threat for the Super Bowl. But can the team withstand the trials and tribulations of the regular season, especially with a first-place schedule?

For the first time since Mahomes took over as the starter, there is not a clear answer to that question. It is imperative that the Chargers take advantage and win as many games as possible early while the Chiefs potentially have to find their footing.