Blaine Gabbert Dec 10, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Blaine Gabbert (9) warms up against the Buffalo Bills prior to a game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

With a win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17, the Kansas City Chiefs (10-6) clinched their eighth consecutive AFC West crown. With the team virtually locked into the No. 3 overall seed in the Playoffs, head coach Andy Reid has elected to rest some of his starters, including quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

There is no scenario where the Chiefs could take the No. 2 seed, even with a win over the dismal Los Angeles Chargers, who will be starting Easton Stick this Sunday. As it stands, the winner of the Buffalo Bills-Miami Dolphins game would be the top seed to host a playoff game come the wildcard round next weekend.

Several different playoff scenarios could unfold, one of which could see the Bills missing out. However, none of these will impact the Chiefs, who have announced their intention to start Blaine Gabbert as their quarterback for the final game of the 2023-24 regular season.

The 34-year-old Gabbert has appeared in one game for the Chiefs this year. He went 3-of-5 for 31 yards with two interceptions in the 41-10 September drubbing of the Chicago Bears.

This will be Gabbert’s first career start since 2018 when he was with the Tennessee Titans.

Reid’s decision to rest starters, including Mahomes, is understandable. Securing the AFC West crown and the No. 3 seed eliminates pressure for the final game. Giving key players a breather before the playoffs is a smart strategy to prevent injuries and ensure they’re fresh for the postseason push.

As for Gabbert, this is a chance to showcase his skills and prove he can be a reliable backup. His previous performance against the Bears wasn’t ideal, but a strong showing against the Chargers could boost his value in the future.


About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.