The Chiefs’ AFC West Chances
The Kansas City Chiefs have scored some pretty impressive additions this off-season. After finishing 2-14 a season ago, the Chiefs have nabbed a new head coach, a new quarterback, the number one overall draft pick, and a new general manager. The expectations are now higher than an average season for the new KC Chiefs’ squad. 8-8 will not meet the standard set by the Kansas City fan base, not now that the Chiefs have both Alex Smith and Andy Reid, two men with playoff experience; that’s without mentioning the supporting cast for KC. But what are the Chiefs’ AFC West chances? Are they a legitimate playoff team? Obviously, only time will tell, however, I believe this team to be well on the way to relevance again.
First, it is impossible to ignore that the NFL is a quarterbacks’ league. So the first objective is to examine the man under-center for the Chiefs. As QB for the San Francisco 49ers, Alex Smith had an up and down career. His performance peeked in 2011 when he led his team to the playoffs. During 2011, he only threw five interceptions, and completed 61.3% of his passes. The 49ers finished 13-3. Smith began 2012 extremely well; though the first ten games he led the NFL in completion percentage at 70.2%. At face value, Alex Smith is a middle of the road NFL QB, however, while he was throwing for the 49ers, he rarely passed more than thirty times per game. Andy Reid is a pass first coach and the number of throws that Smith attempts will no doubt increase. Alex is also expected to pass from the pistol offense this coming season, the same offense that Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick ran a season ago. Alex Smith is not usually thought of as a running quarterback, however, Smith is mobile and ran the ball when he had to in San Fransisco.
Secondly, defense is crucial to victory for Kansas City. The Chiefs’ defense features stars like Eric Berry, Tyson Jackson, Dontari Poe, Derrick Johnson, and Tamba Hali. It’s safe to say that the Chiefs’ offense was atrocious last season; the same cannot be said for Kansas City’s defense. I expect the Chiefs’ defense to be even better in 2013.
As dreadful as Kansas City’s offense was, Jamal Charles continued his excellence, rushing for a career best 1509 yards. Charles’ teammate Dwayne Bowe predicted that Jamal will lead the NFL in rushing this coming season. “When we get in full gear and pads and close to the season, it’s going to be a show to watch,’’ Bowe claimed. I believe that to be a bit of a stretch. There happens to be a player named Adrian Peterson in the league at the moment! I expect Charles to catch the ball more in 2013. I predict 400 receiving yards.
The Chiefs look to be in great shape in the AFC West. I would love to say that I thought that the Chiefs were going to win the division, however, I predict the Denver Broncos will finish 13-3 and Kansas City Chiefs 9-7. Andy Reid and the Chiefs have a lot of work to do. This squad is going to be exciting in the years to come, but the 2013 season will be a rebuilding year.
- Keeping Tabs on the AFC West: Jammer’s role in Denver, Smith impressive in Kansas City, Woodson’s reflection on Al Davis (boltsfromtheblue.com)
- Can the Chiefs be good with Alex Smith? (getrealfootball.com)
- Kansas City Chiefs OTAs: Jamaal Charles’ injury, Knile Davis steps up and more (arrowheadpride.com)
- State of the AFC West: Kansas City Chiefs (silverandblackpride.com)
- Chiefs will study AFC West and early opponents during next week of offseason practice (kansascity.com)
- Alex Smith Must Step Up for Kansas City Chiefs to Claim AFC West Crown (rantsports.com)