The timing couldn’t be better for KC Sports fans. Just when the Royals appear to be circling the drain, the Chiefs are set to open training camp in St. Joe. Optimism is running high for Andy Reid’s team.
Many prognosticators are picking the Chiefs to make a deep run in the playoffs. It’s been a long time since they’ve been picked to be a serious contender. Keep in mind, Denver or San Diego has won the AFC West 11 of the last 12 years. Mercy!
I firmly believe the Oakland Raiders are the team to beat for the Chiefs in this division. Here’s my No. 1 concern about the Chiefs: what happens if the quarterback goes down? If they lose Alex Smith, all bets are off. The Chiefs cannot win with Tyler Bray, Aaron Murray or Kevin Hogan. John Dorsey screwed up by not having a backup QB in place. Every Tom, Dick and Harry in America who follows the game knew that Chase Daniel was out of here.
In the offseason, Dorsey was too busy playing the role of Arrowhead banker. He wasn’t shy when spending a big chunk of the Hunt’s family fortune. Dorsey freely dispersed monopoly-type money to five veteran players. He gave out more than $65 million in guaranteed money. If you ask Eric Berry, he might tell you Dorsey must have broken the bank.
While Justin Houston is not expected to be available opening day, Jamaal Charles will be. For the record, the Chiefs went 11-2 last year without Charles and 5-0 when Houston was out of the lineup. This team has depth and talent galore when compared with previous seasons. It has a stable of running backs including Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West.
The offense should be pretty good. Jeremy Maclin and the QB could have a special season together. They’re becoming joined at the hip. Albert Wilson and Chris Conley need to produce and need to do it now! Travis Kelce is regarded as a “star” tight end in the league. On the other side of the ball, we need to watch what’s going on at cornerback.
Losing Sean Smith is huge. There’s a lot of youth in the back of this defense. The Chiefs are taking a dozen cornerbacks to camp, more than half of them are rookies. I’m eager to see what Phillip Gaines can do now that he’s healthy. With Houston missing nearly a third of the games, the Chiefs still gave up less than 12 points a game during their 11-game winning streak.
Only 2 teams, the Broncos and the Jets, with winning records last year will be coming to Arrowhead. The Chiefs get a break in the schedule drawing the AFC South, the worst division in football last season. Three games in December will add to the team’s chances at running the table at home. 3 of the last 4 games this season will come against the AFC West including a Christmas night encounter at Arrowhead against the Raiders. This schedule sets up nicely. Now the Chiefs need to take advantage of it, because it has double-digit victories written all over it.
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