2016 NFL Preview: Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs started out the season last year with a horrible 1-5 record. And then it happened. The Chiefs managed to get ten straight wins en route to a playoff spot and shocked the NFL world. KC took the Houston Texans to the woodshed in the first-round of the playoffs and earned their first playoff win in over 20 years. Can Kansas City build on that momentum this year?

Is Andy Reid capable of bringing this team to a Super Bowl?

Is Alex Smith capable of bringing this team to a Super Bowl?

Can the defense continue to play at an elite level or will they take a step back?

Let’s find out!

 

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Kansas City Chiefs

The Stats:

Record Last Ten Seasons: 11-5 (2015), 9-7 (2014), 11-5 (2013), 2-14 (2012), 7-9 (2011), 10-6 (2010), 4-12 (2009), 2-14 (2008), 4-12 (2007), 9-7 (2006)

Last Playoff Appearance: 2015 Divisional vs. New England Patriots

Last Playoff Win: 2015 Wildcard vs. Houston Texans

Super Bowl Titles Won: 1 (Super Bowl IV)

Passing Leader for 2015: Alex Smith (3,486 yards, 20 touchdowns, 7 interceptions)

Rushing Leader for 2015: Charcandrick West (634 yards, 4 touchdowns)

Receiving Leader for 2015: Jeremy Maclin (1,088 yards, 8 touchdowns)

The Head Coach:

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Andy Reid

Overall Record (as a head coach): 161-110-1

Record With Team: 31-17

Previous NFL Jobs: Green Bay Packers Offensive Assistant (1992-1994), Green Bay Packers Offensive Line Coach (1995-1996), Green Bay Packers Quarterbacks Coach & Assistant Head Coach (1997-1998), Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach (1999-2012)

My Grade: A-

The Team:

(Depth Charts will change as training camps progress obviously….)

Player Grade Guide:

Blue = Elite Player

Green = Really Good Player

Orange = Average Player

Pink = Meh

Red = NO THANKS

Gray = Rookie

Offense:

QB: Alex Smith

RB: Jamaal Charles

FB: Anthony Sherman

WR: Jeremy Maclin

WR: Chris Conley

TE: Travis Kelce

OC: Mitch Morse

OG: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

OG: Parker Ehinger

OT: Mitchell Schwartz

OT: Eric Fisher

Defense:

DE: Jaye Howard

DT: Dontari Poe

DE: Allen Bailey

LB: Justin Houston

LB: Tamba Hali

LB: Derrick Johnson

LB: Justin March-Lillard

CB: Marcus Peters

CB: Phillip Gaines

SS: Eric Berry

FS: Ron Parker

The Schedule:

vs. San Diego Chargers (September 11)

vs. @ Houston Texans (September 18)

vs. New York Jets (September 25)

vs. @ Pittsburgh Steelers (October 2)

BYE WEEK

vs. @ Oakland Raiders (October 16)

vs. New Orleans Saints (October 23)

vs. @ Indianapolis Colts (October 30)

vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (November 6)

vs. @ Carolina Panthers (November 13)

vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (November 20)

vs. @ Denver Broncos (November 27)

vs. @ Atlanta Falcons (December 4)

vs. Oakland Raiders (December 8)

vs. Tennessee Titans (December 18)

vs. Denver Broncos (December 25)

vs. @ San Diego Chargers (January 1)

The Prediction:

10-6

Brief Synopsis:

The Kansas City Chiefs got a massive monkey off of their back last season when they won their first playoff game in over 20 years. The Chiefs are an NFL franchise that has definitely seen their fair share of ups-and-downs, but way more downs than ups. Ever since Dick Vermiel bolted town, the Chiefs were struggling to find a competent head coach who could lead the team back to respectability. Enter Andy Reid. Back in 2013, the Chiefs hired Reid after a long-stint with the Philadelphia Eagles and he’s had three winning seasons with the team since. For all the jokes that go his way (and there are a ton of them), Reid is easily one of the best head coaches in the game. His clock management is awful and his play calling can be questionable at times, but when it comes to recognizing talent and getting the most out of players, Reid is top notch. Plus, players love playing for him and that’s huge when you’re talking NFL terms. But what about the team he’s built around him? Those are the guys who are going to have to get the job done this season. What exactly is Reid working with? Let’s take a closer look.

Offensively, the Chiefs aren’t going to light up any scoreboards anytime soon. Quarterback Alex Smith isn’t a gun-slinger and he’s a guy who gets a lot of shit thrown his way….but he’s actually a decent QB. Smith isn’t going to win the MVP or lead the league in passing yards, but it’s been proven time and time again that the guy can win you football games (even playoff games!) when asked. He has one of the best win/loss records when it comes to starting QB’s in the NFL and he rarely turns the ball over. Two very important traits for successful NFL QB’s to have. As for what’s around him, it’s pretty solid. Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce are two of the best players at their position and Kansas City has one of the best running backs in the league in Jamaal Charles. When he went down with an injury last year, his replacements Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware were absolutely fantastic filling in. Kansas City has all 3 running backs back this year. They won’t have trouble running the ball. There are definitely some concerns about the Chiefs offense (some holes on the offensive line and the team desperately needs a #2 WR to step up), but I think they’ll end up finishing the season with a top-ranked unit once again.

Defense is definitely the strength of this Chiefs team though. Kansas City has had a top ranked defense every year under Reid and Bob Sutton and that trend should continue this season. The team desperately needs Justin Houston back from an injury and if he can come back at anytime this season, that’s HUGE for KC’s playoff hopes. The team lost starting corner Sean Smith to the Raiders in free agency and someone in the secondary is going to have to step up. I really like what I’ve seen from Phillip Gaines so far and if he can stay healthy, the Chiefs may not miss Smith as much as I think. If the Chiefs are going to make another playoff run this year, this unit is going to have to continue playing at the level they have been. I don’t think they’ll have a problem with that.

So what should we expect from the Chiefs this year? Personally, I think they are a dark horse Super Bowl contender myself. They got their first playoff in in over 20 years last season and pushed the New England Patriots to the limit in the AFC Divisional Round. They managed to keep most of their team in tact even though a lot of guys were set to hit free agency. Good coaching + team consistency + a good offense + a great defense = potential Super Bowl winner. Not saying it’s going to happen, but it could.

One thought on “2016 NFL Preview: Kansas City Chiefs

  1. Pingback: Full NFL Coverage – The Ultimate Sports Blog

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